Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How Did I Miss This?

I had a visit from a coworker last week who recently relocated from Oregon. After noticing bicycle paraphernalia in my office, she inquired about my commuting habits. She then mentioned that she has been lobbying the leadership at our mutual employer to institute the federal bicycle commuter benefit. I told her I wasn't aware of a bike commuter benefit. She explained that employers are allowed to provide financial benefit to employees who commute to work regularly by bicycle.

As it turns out, the bicycle commuter benefit - implemented by the IRS - was enacted as part of the Renewable Energy Tax Credit legislation in 2009. It's meant to act as a reimbursement for reasonable expenses associated with commuting to work by bike - purchase of a bicycle, maintenance, parking, cycling accessories, etc. The amount of money we're talking about here is pretty meager: a maximum allowed benefit of $20 per month, or $240 per year. But the benefit is tax free.

I'll be joining the lobbying efforts for the bicycle commuter benefit with my employer. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can help get a little extra cash for me and my cycling compatriots.

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