IRS Commuter Tax Benefit

Bicycle Commuters Added to IRS Commuter Tax Benefit

“The Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit is a benefit that can only be offered by employers. As of 2018, the only possible tax benefit of the Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit is the deduction for costs associated with the benefit, which can be claimed by an employer (under Sec. 13304(c)(2) of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). Any reimbursement given to employees under a Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit program is taxable as income to the employee. The provisions of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act related to the Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit expire in 2026.”

Source: Ken McLeod, Policy Director, The League of American Cyclists  

For more information about this topic follow these links:

  1.  National Center for Transit Research
  2. Wagenmaker & Oberly: Taking a Strange Turn on Employee Transit Benefits
  3. The League of American Bicyclists

Employers already offering bicycling incentives

Some employers already offer incentives to their bicycling workers. The University of South Florida shared this information.

Clif Bar & Company

To help employees get out of their cars and onto to their bikes for their commutes, Clif Bar & Company (in Berkeley) will provide employees who agree to commute by bike two days a month with up to $500 for the purchase of a commuter bike or to make commute-related retrofits to their existing bike. More information.

Source: Susan Heinrich, 511 Rideshare & Bicycling Coordinator, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Marin County

Marin County, one of the largest employers in the SF Bay Area, has implemented a stipend as part of its Green Commute Program in response to concerns about traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. The County offers offers a $10 Commuter Check Voucher if you live in Marin County and ride your bike to work an average of 8 or more days per month. The check can be used toward bicycle and equipment purchase, storage, and maintenance at participating bike shops. To be eligible for this incentive you need to have a ConnectYourCare and a 511 Trip Diary account. For more information on this incentive program go to http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/pw/main/green_commuting.cfm.

Source: Mary Hao, Director of Human Resources, County of Marin

511 Contra Costa

511 Contra Costa offers a $25 incentive to people who change their work commute from driving alone to carpooling, biking, or walking to work one day a week. To be eligible you must live or work in Contra Costa County, be 18 years of age, have access to a vehicle that you would normally drive alone to work, wish to try an alternative, and agree to complete a brief questionnaire. For more information you can visit their commuter incentive web page at https://511contracosta.org/commuterprogram/.

Source: Matt Wood, Project Manager, 511 Contra Costa