The Commuter Benefit provides you the opportunity to pay for commuting expenses through pre-tax payroll deductions. The program allows you to set aside money from your paycheck before taxes are taken out, which means you reduce your taxable income and save money on federal, FICA (Social Security), and most state taxes.
Who is Eligible?
Active full-time or part-time employees regularly scheduled to work 20 or more hours per week are eligible for the benefit. Only qualified commutation expenses incurred by employees are considered eligible plan expenses. Expenses incurred by a spouse or other dependents of an eligible employee are not considered eligible plan expenses.
Who is our Partner?
WageWorks, the nation’s leading provider of tax advantaged benefits will administer the Commuter Benefit.
What Expenses are Eligible?
- Transit - Bus, Train, Subway, Ferry or Vanpool
- Parking - Parking your car at work or at the station
Expenses not eligible include transportation costs that are not work related, expenses for other family members, tolls, gas, mileage, and taxis.
How Much Can I Contribute?
The amount of pre-tax dollars that you can use to pay for qualified transportation and parking expenses are subject to monthly limits, which are set by the IRS. Your contributions, up to these monthly limits, are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are withheld, and the balance of your commuter benefit contributions are deducted from your paycheck on an after-tax basis.
The following are the IRS limits on how much you can contribute on a pre-tax basis for 2009:
- For public transit or vanpooling expenses, the maximum monthly contribution is $230
- For parking expenses, the maximum monthly contribution (per month) is $230
Cross-funding between Transit and Parking Expenses
Remember, there are two separate types of commutation expenses—one for transit and one for parking—with different maximums for each. You may not use your excess transit contributions towards parking expenses and vice versa.
For instance, if you spend $250 in parking fees and $70 in public transportation passes, you would reach your pre-tax parking limit but not your pre-tax transit limit. The $30 that you do not spend on eligible transit expenses cannot be applied towards your pre-tax parking fee.
How Does the Program Work?
For Public Transportation
Buy My Pass. Choose your transit provider and pass type. You’ll receive your transit pass or tickets in the mail every month, in time for the month they’re valid.
If you prefer to buy your transit passes on your own, you can select the Commuter Card. The Commuter Card can be used just like a credit card at transit agency ticket vending machines and ticket windows. The WageWorks Commuter Card is a reusable stored value card that is funded by your commuter benefit election.
Pay My Parking. Select your parking provider and monthly amount when you sign up, and the program pays your expenses automatically every month. Pay Me Back. If your expenses vary from month to month, or your provider only accepts cash, you can also send in a Pay Me Back claim form for reimbursement.
How Do I Enroll?
Visit www.wageworks.com and under Sign Me Up, click Register now to complete the account set up process.
You can enroll at anytime. Each enrollment period will run from the 2nd of the month to the 1st of the following month (the monthly cut-off). Deductions will be taken once a month, from the second paycheck following the monthly cut-off, with benefits effective the first of the next month. For example: if you enroll on December 5th, your payroll deductions will begin with the January 30th paycheck and benefits will be effective February 1st.
For more information about monthly enrollment, participation and eligible expenses, please visit www.wageworks.com. You can also call WageWorks at 877-WageWorks (877-924-3967) to speak with a representative.