Commuter Benefit Solutions Blog

How Does The Commuter Benefit Work?

Posted by the Commuter Benefit Solutions Team September 10, 2018

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Wouldn’t it be nice to get a discount on your commute every day?

You can with commuter benefits. There’s a discount of up to 40 percent waiting for you if your company enrolls in a commuter benefits program.

It’s hard to believe a discount like that is available, so let’s look at some of the fine print so you can understand how both you and your employer can save money with commuter benefits.

Commuter benefits are pre-tax. Once enrolled, you have the monthly cost of your commute deducted from your pay before paying taxes. Meanwhile, your employer saves up to 7.65 percent on payroll tax.

Spend the benefit on the way you commute; Drivers, for example, can pay for parking costs. Public transit riders — subways, buses, ferries, etc. — apply the pre-tax money to their commutes. You’re also eligible if you use a RideShare program like Uber Pool and Lyft Shared.

The tax-free dollars are then put on a voucher, debit card or paid directly to your transit or parking operator to comply with IRS regulations. Currently, the maximum benefit limits are $260 per month for public transit and parking.

So how much can you save? It depends on many factors, but here are some examples. A public transit commuter in New York State, who is single and earns $75,000 per year, could save $1,144.

A married person in Massachusetts who makes $100,000 and commutes by car could save $1,178. You are subject to taxes on the money you spend commuting without commuter benefits. The savings here are helping you reduce the cost of getting to work each day.

Interested in saving money on your commute? There are a few things you can do.

You can request to your HR department or your owner that they give us a call to discuss how commuter benefits could help them. You can emphasize they save in payroll taxes, so it’s truly a win-win for everyone.

Know that you do not need a staff the size of Google’s to start a commuter benefits program. Businesses can start with just one employee.

Commuter benefits are also an excellent fringe benefit that will help attract and retain employees. 

If you want to start saving money on your commute, then you should ask your employer today about signing up for commuter benefits today. We’ll even help you get going.

Click below and we’ll talk with your employer. Don’t worry, your request will be anonymous!

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Topics: Commuter Benefits 101