Frequently Asked Questions
 
General Questions about the Commuter Tax$ave Program

What are the current monthly IRS allowable limits?
The current monthly IRS allowable limits are:

 
Transit benefit - $245
 
Parking benefit - $245

How do I save money on my commute if I am paying for my commute with my pretax salary?
With Commuter Tax$ave, employees are allowed to pay for their commuting expenses with their pretax salary, up to certain federal limits. Paying with pretax salary means you use your salary before federal, state and local taxes are taken out by your employer. When you pay for your commute with pretax salary instead of after tax salary, you save on the taxes you normally pay.

How much can I save with Commuter Tax$ave?
Federal law allows employees to set aside up to the monthly IRS allowable limits, before taxes are applied, to use for mass transit and vanpool commuting, and in addition, up to the monthly IRS allowable limits for commuter parking. Click here to see examples of what you may be able to save.

Specifically, what types of commuting expenses are not subject to federal taxes?
If an employee commutes to work by mass transit or in a vanpool, he or she is allowed to use up to the monthly IRS allowable limits, of their pretax salary, to pay for actual expenses incurred. Vanpools, or commuter highway vehicles, are defined as a vehicle that can hold a minimum of six people, not including the driver, in which at least half of the seats are filled, not including the driver, and at least 80% of the mileage is used to commute to and from work. Mass transit can be publicly or privately operated. Additionally, employees who pay to park at a facility at or near their workplace can use up to the monthly IRS allowable limits, of their pretax salary, to pay for their parking expenses incurred. Finally, employees who park at a facility from which they take transit, take a carpool or take a vanpool can also use up to the monthly IRS allowable limits, of their pretax salary, to pay for their parking expenses incurred.

Can I receive a tax benefit to drive to work if I don’t pay to park, but incur other commuting expenses like tolls and gas?
No. Commuters who drive to work and do not pay for parking may not use any pretax monies for tolls, gas or anything else not covered by the specific commuting expenses discussed in the previous question (see above).

Is the Commuter Tax$ave Program exempt from state as well as federal taxes?
New Jersey does not exempt pretax transportation benefits from state taxes. However, pretax commuter benefits are exempt from federal taxes.

What are park and ride tax benefits?
Commuter Tax$ave allows employees to receive a tax benefit if they park and ride mass transit to work. A park and ride benefit covers the cost of parking at a facility from which an employee commutes to work by transit. For example, if an employee drives to a railroad station and pays to park at the station parking lot or at a privately owned parking lot adjacent to the railroad station, the monthly cost of parking is covered with Commuter Tax$ave. In this case, an employee can arrange to have up to the monthly IRS allowable limits, of his or her salary set aside before taxes to pay for this expense.

I drive to a parking lot from which I carpool. Am I eligible to receive a tax benefit for parking?
Yes, up to the monthly IRS allowable limits for eligable parking expenses.

I carpool to work and pay to park near my worksite. Am I eligible to receive a carpool tax benefit for my parking?
Yes. An employee may receive a parking benefit to pay for parking at or near their worksite if it is part of their commuting pattern. However, only one carpooler may claim the parking expense as a tax benefit.

I drive to a parking lot where I am picked up by my vanpool and taken to work. Can I claim a tax benefit for my parking expenses?
Yes. If you are charged to park, you may set aside up to the monthly IRS allowable limits of your salary before taxes to pay for your parking expenses. And, you may be eligible to set aside an additional amount, up to the monthly IRS allowable limits, of your salary before taxes to pay for your vanpool expenses if it is an eligible vanpool. Thus, a commuter who parks and then gets into a vanpool may be able to deduct the amount covered by the monthly IRS allowable limits from their salary before taxes to pay for both parking and vanpool expenses. The tax-free monthly limits for each must be observed.

How do I pay for commuting expenses if I am in the Commuter Tax$ave Program?
You pay for your benefit through deductions from your salary before taxes are taken out. This deduction, which will occur in the first paycheck of the month, pays for the benefit product you receive through the Commuter Tax$ave Program. You can receive a TransitChek QuickPay® Card, a prepaid Visa® Card, an annual Premium TransitChek® MetroCard®, or Vouchers if you commute by transit. If you incur parking expenses you can either receive the TransitChek QuickPay Card or be eligible for reimbursement for your parking expenses through our TransitChek CashBack® Service.

Can I deduct the full amount of my commuting expenses even if it exceeds the benefit limits?
No. If your monthly commuting cost exceeds the monthly IRS allowable limits, you will only be able to deduct the amount covered by the limits. Click here to see the current monthly IRS allowable limits.

How do I know how much to deduct from my salary each month for my commute?
When you enroll in the Program, it is very important that you know the exact amount of your commuting expenses because your payroll deduction will be based on this. If you don’t have this information, you should first contact your transit operator, if you’re commuting by transit, or your parking lot operator, if you will be parking, to get the exact amount. Transit operators generally provide current fare information on their websites. Click here for a link to some of the transit operators in this area.

If I need to change my commuting pattern, can I change the type of benefit I receive?
Yes. The Commuter Tax$ave Program allows you to change your benefit if you move or alter your commuting pattern. If you enrolled through the Program’s online enrollment website, you will have an opportunity to set up your own Online Management Account at the time of enrollment or any time thereafter. You can use the Online Management Account at any time to modify your benefits if you change your commute.

If you enrolled through the toll-free enrollment service number and/or do not have access to the online website service, you can call TransitChek Customer Service and they can change your benefit if your commute changes.

 
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