Commuter Benefit Program
State and Federal tax laws allow employees of the employer to save taxes on parking at work and transit or vanpooling expenses incurred to get to work. Employees save by setting up a pretax payroll deduction that reduces taxable income. Qualified expenses are exempt from Federal, State and FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes. Your tax savings will vary, depending on your deduction amount and your tax bracket. Most employees will save approximately $13.50 on every $50 they pay for qualified expenses (27%).
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What is the Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit Program?
The Pretax Commuter Benefit Program is a qualified transportation benefit program authorized by Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 132 and adopted by your employer. For Commuter Benefit Programs administered by ASIFlex, qualified expenses are dictated by the IRS and ASIFlex uses those IRC guidelines in reviewing claims.
What types of programs qualify under the Commuter Benefit Program?
Your employers Commuter Benefit Program may allow all or some of the following: - Parking at or near your work location or at or near a location from which you commute to work by car pool, commuter highway vehicle or mass transit. Out-of-pocket parking fees for parking meters, garages and lots qualify. Parking at or near your home is not an eligible expense. - Van-pooling in a commuter highway vehicle with a seating capacity of at least 7 adults, including the driver. At least 80 percent of the vehicle mileage must be for transporting employees between their homes and workplace with employees occupying at least one-half of the vehicle’s seats (not including the driver’s seat). Not all employees must work for the employer sponsoring the Commuter Benefit Program. - Transit passes, tokens, fare cards, vouchers, or similar items entitling you to ride a mass transit vehicle to or from work. The mass transit vehicle may be publicly or privately operated and includes bus, rail, or ferry.
What are the limits on Monthly Pre-Tax Deductions and Expenses?
Annual limits are set by the IRS. For calendar year 2016, the limits are as follows: Parking deduction is limited to $255/month. Transit passes & van pool expenses, whether separate or combined, are limited to $255/month. Any monthly costs above these limits cannot be exempt from taxes and cannot be carried over to future months.
How does the plan work?
You authorize your employer to deduct a pre-tax amount for parking or van-pooling/transit from each paycheck, up to the IRS limits stated above. You pay for the qualified transportation & then file a claim with ASIFlex to recover the amount deducted from your paycheck. Since these deductions are taken on a pre-tax basis, you save taxes.
How do you enroll?
You can enroll, change or terminate your pre-tax deduction at any time. However, all changes are effective on checks issued the first of the month following the change or enrollment.
Do I have to send anything with a claim form?
Submit receipts for the month or week and a signed reimbursement claim form to ASIFlex. You may include both parking and transit expenses on the same reimbursement claim form if you are enrolled in both programs.
How do I submit claims?
Claims and receipts may be sent to ASIFlex via U.S. Mail or faxed toll-free to (877) 879-9038.
What documentation must accompany my claim in order to receive reimbursement?
Federal Regulations require you to provide a written statement from the provider of the service that supports your claim if the provider provides receipts or other documentation in the ordinary course of its business. If the provider does not provide receipts or other documentation, explain the situation in the column labeled "Attach proof of expense or explain why it is not available in the ordinary course of business." If the provider normally provides documentation such as receipts you must provide a copy with your claim. The documentation must show: - The name provider; - The date or range of dates of parking, travel, or payment. You may not claim expenses for more than one month on one line; - A description of the service provided (for example, "April 2010 parking" or "May 2010 bus fare"); and - The cost of the service or the amount paid.