Commuter Benefit Account Details
What is a Commuter Account?
A commuter account is an employer-sponsored benefit program that allows you to set aside pre-tax funds in a separate account to pay for qualified mass transit and parking expenses associated with your commute to work.
What is a qualified mass transit expense?
Qualified expenses include transit passes, tokens, fare cards, vouchers, or similar items entitling you to ride to work. This includes publicly and privately operated and includes bus, rail, or ferry.
Why should I participate?
Contributions to the account are deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis, reducing your taxable income. You can save an average of 30% on your eligible transit and parking expenses.
What commuter expenses are covered?
Eligible expenses include those incurred for your transportation between your residence and worksite. Spouses and children are NOT eligible.
What qualifies as Van-pooling?
Van-pooling is not to be confused with Car-pooling. Van-pooling requires a commuter highway vehicle with a seating capacity of at least 7 adults, including the driver. At least 80% of the vehicle mileage must be for transporting employees between their homes and workplace with employees occupying at least 1/2 of the vehicle's seats.
What is a qualified Parking expense?
Get reimbursed for parking expenses incurred at or near your work locations or a location from which you continue your commute to work by car pool, van-pool 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.
Can I use my commuter account for commuting expenses like tolls and gas?
No. Benefits may not be used for tolls, gas, mileage or other personal commuting expenses.
How does it work?
You authorize your employer to deduct a pre-tax amount for parking and or van-pooling/transit from each paycheck, up to the IRS limits.
Is there a limit to how much I can contribute or spend each month?
Yes. Monthly limits are set by the IRS. Currently, contributions, as well as monthly spending limits, are set to $280 per month.
Can I change my election amount during the year?
Yes. You can change the election amount or terminate the plan at any time.
What happens if I don't use all of my funds that the end of the year?
The funds will be rolled over to the next year's plan as long as your participate and are with the company as an employee.
Do I need to keep my receipts?
Yes. A valid receipt should have the merchant name, date, amount of expense, and a description of the purchase for a transportation pass or parking.