Commuter Choice offers tax savings, benefits to employees |

Commuter Choice offers tax savings, benefits to employees

Transportation responsibility & youSabrina Harris

Employers, listen up! If you are looking for tax savings, the federal tax code provides incentives for you to offer commuter benefits to employees. Under the tax law, an employer may offer one or more commuter benefit options, including a tax-free employer-paid commuter benefit for riding transit or vanpooling; a pre-tax commuter benefits program in which employees are allowed to reserve income for transit or vanpooling on a pre-tax basis; or a parking cash-out program, in which employees are given the option of accepting taxable income (or tax-free transit and vanpool benefits) in lieu of a free or subsidized parking space at work.These commuter benefit programs can save money on taxes, increase employee satisfaction and help in attracting and retaining employees. These benefits can redirect employees from driving to work alone to using other modes of alternative transportation such as transit and carpooling, thus resulting in a decrease of parking and traffic congestion along with air pollution. Many employees find this means of commuting convenient, affordable and helpful in avoiding the stress of driving.The Federal Transit Administration calls this program Commuter Choice. It is a great way to provide employees with a cost-effective, value-added benefit. The changes in the Internal Revenue Code allow your agency the greatest flexibility to create a program that works for you and your employees. Remember, satisfied employees mean satisfied customers. So what are you waiting for? Find out how you can take full advantage of the tax-free Commuter Choice transportation benefit. These options can provide real savings to your agency and your employees. Employees can participate in commuter benefits programs only if offered by their employer. To learn more about these benefits and tax advantages of the federal tax law, visit http://www. page=employers or consult your tax accountant. Sabrina Harris is transportation manager for the city of Glenwood Springs.

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