The following article appears in NJ Transit’s FYI Customer Update, February 2011:
Congress has continued the $230 monthly pre-tax commuter transit benefit allowance through Dec. 31, 2011.
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the pre-tax payroll deduction limit for transit was increased to $230 per month on March 1, 2009, while maintaining the existing $230 limit for parking expenses.
Through commuter tax benefits, employees save on income taxes when they use pre-tax salary toward their mass transit commute and/or qualifying parking benefit. Employers also save on payroll taxes for each participating employee by lowering payroll costs. To find out how you can participate, visit www.njtransit.com/taxbenefits.
The extension of the commuter tax benefit was part of the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010 passed by Congress on December 16, 2010.
On my way home from work yesterday, on the train were brochures passed out by New Jersey Transit. The title began as “More money in your wallet” and “less tax out of your paycheck”. As a daily mass transit rider this certainly caught my attention, so I thought I should share this information. In fact I’m going to pass it onto my employer to enlist their support.
Copying directly from the brochure, it reads as follows:
“The Federal Government just increased the pre-tax commuter benefit from $120 to $230 per month. That means you could save up to $1,000 a year on your trips to and from work.”
“To take advantage of these tax savings, your employer needs to opt-in to either the NJ Transit BusinessPass program or one of the programs offered by the providers listed below.”
“When your employer participates in a commuter pre-tax benefit program they will actually reduce the amount of payroll taxes they have to pay.”
“For more information visit njtransit.com/taxbenefits and pass this card along to your employee benefits department. It’s a win/win situation!”
For more information, assuming you live in New Jersey, visit their commuter tax benefits page. Another useful page on seven other tax benefit packages are available at http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/db_ep_smart_commuting.pdf.
Today I’m going to ask my employer, the County of Union, to give NJ Transit a call at 973-491-7600 so all employees who want it can sign up for this benefit. You should do the same.
P.S. The increase tax advantage was built into the the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 also known as ARRA or the federal stimulus bill. Go lobby your employer now.