All of the pre-tax employee transit benefits I’ve seen have been in the form of “Commuter Check” programs that are outsourced to third party benefit providers hired by human resources departments to handle the paperwork and distribute the transit benefits in the form of “Commuter Checks” that are redeemable at transit agencies.
One of these benefit providers, Accor Services, now has bicycling commuter checks available for the month of March for employers that provide this benefit.
The new solution supports the expansion of the Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit (IRS Tax Code Section 132(f)) to allow bicycle commuters to designate pre-tax salary deductions of up to $240 per year. Individuals can now designate up to $20.00 per month as a pre-tax salary deduction to pay for the cost of commuting via bicycle. This includes the cost of bicycles, bicycling equipment and accessories, and storage unit costs.
Similar to current Commuter Check programs for public transit and parking, employers can offer the bicycling benefit as a pre-tax salary deduction, saving on taxes for the individual and the company or as a subsidy, which is also tax deductible for the company.
“As an organization whose mission is to promote bicycling, we are pleased to see bicycling commute expenses now officially recognized as a commuting expense that qualifies for the transportation fringe benefit,” said League of American Bicyclists Advocacy Director Walter P. Finch. “Further, we are thrilled that a leader in commuter benefits and the only national commuter benefits provider, Commuter Check, was first to step up to the plate to offer a program to enable employers and their employees to take advantage of the benefit.”
According to Accor, the bicycling commuter can use the bicycle Commuter Checks at any bicycle shop and bicycle parking and storage locations across the United States.
More at Commuter Check.