We all know that riding a bike is good for the environment, our health, and our pocketbooks, but here’s one more way it pays to bike – The Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit. With folks filing their returns for Uncle Sam, there’s no day like Tax Day to encourage employers to offer this transportation benefit to employees.
The Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit has been on the books of the Internal Revenue Service for the past three years, but it still goes quite under used. Any employer, if they chose to do so, may provide a reimbursement of up to $20 per month for bike-related expenses incurred by the employee. That’s an extra $20 in your paycheck for tubes and tune-ups and all the already-affordable items that make your commute fun and comfortable. But, since it is Tax Day, remember: This is a benefit offered by your employer, not something you can claim on your personal taxes.
Sure, it’s not quite on par with the $230 subsidy an employer can offer for parking, or even the $120 they can offer for public transit — and the League is working with our congressional partners to increase the amount. But let’s celebrate the fact that bicycling is on the list of qualified transportation fringe benefits covered by the IRS and is ready for employers to use. The more it gets used, the more our lawmakers will know people consider bicycling a transportation option.
Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions on the benefit.
And don’t forget: Offering the commuter benefit is just one of the many steps your business can take to become more bicycle-friendly. Stay tuned to the Bike League blog tomorrow for the announcement of a new round of Bicycle Friendly Business awards! Click here to learn all about the program.
Alison DeweyDewey joined the League in 2008. For four years prior to that, Dewey worked for Massachusetts- based Landry’s Bicycles and served on the board of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition. Dewey has a MA in International Relations and Communications from Boston University and is a graduate of St. Olaf College. She spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal.
League Program Manager, BFB & BFU