Given the recent increase in the amount of the Federal commuter fringe benefit to $255 per month, we conducted a transit benefits webinar on April 7, 2016 to update Montgomery County employers. Listed below are links to presentations and the webinar. Click on any or all of them to view or to download:
You can live anywhere and still be eligible for cost s avings for transit trips, benefits for bikers and walkers, telework options, and tax incentives - so long as your employer is in Montgomery County.
Call us at 240 -773-BWTW (2989) or email us at mcdot.CommuterServices@montgomerycountymd.gov to get started. Tell us where your business is located and our Marketing Specialists will visit your office " free of charge " to help you set up a commuting benefits program that is tailored to your company's needs. Ask for free maps, brochures, and tips to streamline the commute between home and work. It's that easy!
Research has shown that providing employer-paid transit benefits or allowing employees to receive their benefits as a pre-tax payroll deduction is most effective in persuading employees to switch to transit.
A maximum of $255 per month ($3,060 per year) is allowable tax-free or pre-tax to employees as a transit benefit towards their use of Transit or Vanpools to commute to work.
An employer can offer Transit Benefits as a salary increase, bonus, award, or other incentive. However, amounts over $255/month are taxable.
Employees can receive their benefits as a pre-tax payroll deduction from their paycheck. When employees use their pre-tax dollars to pay for their commute, they reduce their taxable income. That leaves less taxable payroll, which saves your company money.
Some employers will have cost concerns about providing up to $255/month in transit benefits, one possible way to overcome that concern may be with a combination of direct transit benefits offered by employers and pre-tax payroll deduction. For example, an employer could provide a direct transit benefit (in addition to compensation) of $127.50/month, and the remaining $127.50/month as pre-tax payroll deduction, which saves both employers and employees on payroll taxes.
Internal Revenue Service information about the pre-tax payroll deduction can be found here.
With the Maryland Commuter Choice Tax Credit employers can receive a tax credit of 50 percent of the amount they spend on employee commuting benefits - up to a maximum of $50 per month for each participating employee.
Any combination of benefits can be used, and employers can take this credit against the State Income Tax, the Financial Institution Tax, or the Insurance premium Tax. It's your choice.
These employer-provided commuting expenses qualify for the tax credit:
SmartBenefits® is a convenient Web-based program that lets employers assign the dollar value of employees' monthly commuting benefit directly to the employees' SmarTrip® cards. This can be done right from your computer using WMATA's website. With SmartBenefits®, you'll immediately eliminate the need to distribute paper vouchers to Ride On, Metrorail, Metrobus, most regional bus systems', and van pool commuters. Click here for more information.
If you use mass transit, carpool, vanpool, bicycle, or walk to work at least twice a week, you are eligible for the Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) program, which offers you a free ride home by taxi, rental car, bus, or train, up to four times a year when unexpected personal emergencies or unscheduled overtime arise. Register with Commuter Connections, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments via the link above or call 1-800-745-RIDE (7433).