Commuting can be a nightmare for employees. Your company can help by offering your staff members some financial relief from their commuting hassles.
Employees appreciate this benefit and there's a bonus for your company: You can save money on payroll taxes. Similar to a cafeteria plan election, staff members can have money deducted on a pre-tax basis to be applied toward the transportation benefits. Both the company and the employee avoid payroll taxes on the salary reduction.
In another option, employees can be given the choice of taking the benefit in cash. However, if an employee takes cash, the amount is included in the employee's compensation and subject to employment taxes.
Under the tax law, there are three categories of employer-provided fringe benefits for qualified transportation for 2017:
So your company can provide up to $510 in monthly tax-free benefits per employee in 2017 (and 2016). This includes $255 parking, plus $255 in passes or rides. If you give more, the excess must be treated as taxable compensation.
Some limitations: Shareholder-employees of C corporations can collect qualified transportation perks but they're not available as a tax-free fringe benefit to partners, 2%-or-more shareholder-employees in an S corporation or independent contractors. Talk with your tax advisor about the best way to set up a program.
Bicycle commuters get a tax break. Employers can also provide bicycle commuters a transportation fringe benefit. The exclusion amount is $20 a month.
Get in touch today and find out how we can help you meet your objectives.