Portland and Seattle both rank in Walk Score’s top 10 cities with the best transit systems in the country, in the top 5 best bike cities by Bicycling Magazine, and in the top 3 most sustainable U.S. cities. Many employees in these cities are already inclined to use alternative methods of commuting, but how can you as an employer harness your city’s strengths to build goodwill with your employees?
The U.S. government has an answer to that question. The IRS allows employers to encourage alternative methods of transportation by letting them exclude the value of transit passes and the costs of bike commuting up to a certain amount from employees’ income.
Employer-provided transit passes and reimbursement for bike expenses are part of the general category of “fringe benefits” that employers may exclude from employees’ income. This allows employees to enjoy transportation benefits free from tax up to a defined dollar amount ($125 per month for transit passes and $20 per month for bicycling expenses).
Not only can alternative commuting save you and your employees on taxes, but it can also be a key component to a sustainable business strategy. Our attorneys can work with you to develop your business strategy and analyze the laws that will allow you to achieve your business goals. A well-thought-out employee benefit plan that incorporates your business’s values is an important step toward maintaining a happy, healthy workforce, and it is a step that Northwest Business Law Group will happily help you achieve.