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New 2022 Health and Welfare Benefits Limits: In Time for Open Enrollment?

The IRS published increased limits for 2022 for various health and welfare benefits, including: Health flexible spending account limit increased to $2,850 (from $2,750); Qualified transportation fringe benefit limit for parking and transit each increased to $280 (from $270); Adoption assistance program limit increased to $14,890 (from $14,400); and Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement limit increased to $5,450 for individual coverage and $11,050 for family coverage (from $5,300 and $10,700, respectively). An employer that wants to incorporate these increased limits into its plans should determine whether the plans are drafted to automatically reflect the increased limits or whether amendments would be required. If a plan (including a health flexible spending account) is drafted to automatically incorporate any increased limits, the plan sponsor should communicate the increased limits to participants to permit changes during open enrollment for the upcoming plan year. The list of 2022 plan limits can be found in… Continue Reading

Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits in the Time of COVID ?Çô IRS Provides an Overview on Treatment of Unused Amounts and Changes to Elections

Prior to the pandemic, many employees used qualified transportation fringe benefits, such as receiving mass transit passes or paying for on-site parking on a pre-tax basis, to help defray the costs of getting to the office. As a result of the pandemic, many workers are working from home, with no need to pay for on-site parking or reap the benefit of employer-provided mass transit passes. The pandemic has also caused some employees to change their mode of transportation, with many deciding to forgo the use of mass transit to drive their own vehicles to work. A recent IRS information letter outlined some options available to employees whose use of qualified transportation has changed throughout the course of the pandemic. Under the example in the information letter, an employee was no longer using mass transit, and so, no longer needed to use compensation deductions to pay for mass transit passes. Instead,… Continue Reading

IRS Proposed Regulations Address the Elimination of the Deduction for Certain Qualified Transportation Fringe Expenses

On June 23, 2020, the IRS released proposed regulations regarding the deduction of certain employer-provided transportation and commuting benefits to reflect changes made to Section 274 of the Internal Revenue Code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the ?Ç£TCJA?Ç¥). The TCJA eliminated deductions by employers for qualified transportation fringe (?Ç£QTF?Ç¥) expenses for amounts paid or incurred in the taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Key issues addressed in the proposed regulations include: (i) the amount of parking expenses that is not deductible when an employer owns or leases the parking facility; (ii) the amount of QTF expenses that is not deductible when an employer pays a third party to provide QTF benefits; (iii) the amount of certain expenses or reimbursements relating to transportation between an employee?ÇÖs residence and place of employment that is not deductible; and (iv) the application of exceptions that may allow certain QTF expenses to… Continue Reading

New Jersey Employers with Twenty or More Employees Must Offer a Pre-Tax Transportation Fringe Benefit

New Jersey enacted Senate Bill No. 1567 (the ?Ç£Senate Bill?Ç¥), which requires every employer in New Jersey that employs at least 20 persons, excluding employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, to offer a pre-tax transportation fringe benefit to all of its employees in New Jersey, effective as of March 1, 2020. A pre-tax transportation fringe benefit allows an employee to set aside wages on a pre-tax basis to purchase eligible transportation services, such as transit passes and commuter highway vehicle travel, as consistent with Section 132(f)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code. An employer that is found to be in violation of this requirement is liable for a civil penalty ranging from $100 to $250 for the first violation. An employer has 90 days to correct the violation before such penalty is imposed. After 90 days, a $250 penalty will be imposed for each additional 30-day period during which an… Continue Reading

Parking Expenses for Qualified Transportation Fringes Under Code Section 274(a)(4)

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 amended Section 274 of the Internal Revenue Code to disallow a deduction for expenses with respect to qualified transportation fringes (?Ç£QTFs?Ç¥) that taxpayer employers provide to their employees. In Notice 2018-99 (the ?Ç£Notice?Ç¥), the IRS provides interim guidance regarding how to determine the amount of parking expenses for QTFs that is deductible. The amount of QTFs that an employer provides to an employee is excluded from the employee?ÇÖs gross income up to the limit provided in Code Section 132(f)(2) ($260 per employee in 2018). If the employer pays a third party to provide parking for its employees, the employer may deduct only those amounts that exceed the Code Section 132(f)(2) limit and are, therefore, included in the employee?ÇÖs taxable compensation. For employers that own or lease their parking facilities, the disallowed portion of the deduction may be calculated using any reasonable method… Continue Reading

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