In a BLR webinar entitled "Mileage/Commuting Expenses: How to Avoid Big Mistakes With These Employee Expenses," Mark E. Tabakman, Esq., partner in the nationwide law firm Fox Rothschild, LLP and Stacy Wade, Ph.D., CPA, assistant professor of accounting at Western Kentucky University, explained that a "qualified transportation fringe benefit" includes any of the following:
- Commuter vehicle. Transportation in a commuter highway vehicle (must include six or more adults in addition to the driver) where 80 percent of the vehicle's mileage for a year is for transporting employees to and from their residences to work.
- Transit pass. Any transit pass, token fare card, voucher, or similar item exchangeable for a fare that entitles a person to public or private transportation.
- Qualified parking. Qualified parking means any parking provided to an employee on or near the business premises of the employer or on or near a location from which the employee commutes to work by qualified transportation previously described.
- Qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement. Employer reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred by an employee for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repairs, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee's residence and place of employment.
An employer may simultaneously provide an employee with one or more of these benefits.
Partners, two percent shareholders of the corporation and independent contractors are not eligible for qualified fringe benefits.
Mark E. Tabakman, Esq., is a partner in the nationwide law firm Fox Rothschild, LLP (www.wagehourlaw.foxrothschild.com). He advises clients throughout the country on all aspects of labor relations and employment law, as well as the development of corporate employment policies. Stacy Wade, Ph.D., CPA, is assistant professor of accounting at Western Kentucky University (www.wku.edu). She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in financial accounting and taxation.