If you travel to and from work, you could be saving on those travel-related expenses with a Commuter (aka Transit) plan. A Transit/Commuter plan is an employer-sponsored fringe benefit where employees can use set-aside money to help cover the cost of commuter expenses.
- Parking near the place of employment, or at a lot from where the commuter rides vanpool, carpool, or mass transit
- Mass transit fare (Bus, train, subway, ferry, etc.)
- Commuter highway vehicle (carries 6 or more adults) fare
- Bicycle purchase, repair, improvements and storage
Monthly Contribution Limits
- Parking: $260
- Mass Transit Pass/Fare: $260
- Commuter highway vehicle (Vanpool): $260
- Bicycle: $20 (Funded exclusively by the employer)
Need to Know!
Commuters may receive both the parking and transit benefits, up to $520 per month, at the same time. However, you cannot receive bicycle benefits along with the other commuter benefits. Also, if you use both mass transit and vanpooling, you can only claim a total of $260.
If your plan has an account-linked debit card, you may use those pre-tax dollars to pay for most commuting costs, except for bicycle expenses. Depending on where you live, such as in some major cities, your account-linked debit card may have terminal restrictions that allow you to use your card only where fare media is sold.
For those who use the bicycle benefit, you must pay for the expense first, then submit a claim for reimbursement.
You may change your pre-tax contributions at any time, and some commuter plans allow for rollover at the end of the year for unused funds.
Learn More from This Fun Video!
Additional Information about Transit Accounts
For more information about Transit accounts, check out these blogs from the Captain:
- Commuter Benefits Accounts – Tax Relief, Reimbursements, Qualified Expenses, and More! – Commuter benefits are a staple for many employers’ benefits plans, especially in and around major cities. For those that commute, it’s no secret that these expenses – fuel, vehicle maintenance, parking, transit, and other fees – add up quickly. Thankfully there’s a way for you to save on something you’re already paying for.
- 2018 FSA Contribution Limits, Transportation and QSEHRA Benefit Increases – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently published the updated 2018 contribution limits for health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Transportation benefits, and Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs).