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bailout bill includes bike benefits

Old 10-02-08, 10:03 AM
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dscheidt
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bailout bill includes bike benefits

The version of the bank bailout bill passed by the senate adds a provision that allows employers to provide up to $20/month in pre-tax money for bike commuting expenses. I believe that you can't get the public transportation benefits at the same time, but I'm not sure.
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Old 10-02-08, 10:13 AM
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How does that work? Do you mean like you can use it as a deduction in your taxes or that you can just tell your employer "hey I commute by bike, how about tossing me 20 bux a month"
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Old 10-02-08, 10:13 AM
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1 SEC. 211. TRANSPORTATION FRINGE BENEFIT TO BICYCLE
2 COMMUTERS.
3 (a) IN GENERAL.—Paragraph (1) of section 132(f)
4 is amended by adding at the end the following:
5 ‘‘(D) Any qualified bicycle commuting re6
imbursement.’’.
7 (b) LIMITATION ON EXCLUSION.—Paragraph (2) of
8 section 132(f) is amended by striking ‘‘and’’ at the end
9 of subparagraph (A), by striking the period at the end
10 of subparagraph (B) and inserting ‘‘, and’’, and by adding
11 at the end the following new subparagraph:
12 ‘‘(C) the applicable annual limitation in
13 the case of any qualified bicycle commuting re14
imbursement.’’.
15 (c) DEFINITIONS.—Paragraph (5) of section 132(f)
16 is amended by adding at the end the following:
17 ‘‘(F) DEFINITIONS RELATED TO BICYCLE
18 COMMUTING REIMBURSEMENT.—
19 ‘‘(i) QUALIFIED BICYCLE COMMUTING
20 REIMBURSEMENT.—The term ‘qualified bi21
cycle commuting reimbursement’ means,
22 with respect to any calendar year, any em23
ployer reimbursement during the 15-month
24 period beginning with the first day of such
25 calendar year for reasonable expenses in26
curred by the employee during such cal206
O:\AYO\AYO08C32.xml S.L.C.
1 endar year for the purchase of a bicycle
2 and bicycle improvements, repair, and stor3
age, if such bicycle is regularly used for
4 travel between the employee’s residence
5 and place of employment.
6 ‘‘(ii) APPLICABLE ANNUAL LIMITA7
TION.—The term ‘applicable annual limita8
tion’ means, with respect to any employee
9 for any calendar year, the product of $20
10 multiplied by the number of qualified bicy11
cle commuting months during such year.
12 ‘‘(iii) QUALIFIED BICYCLE COM13
MUTING MONTH.—The term ‘qualified bi14
cycle commuting month’ means, with re15
spect to any employee, any month during
16 which such employee—
17 ‘‘(I) regularly uses the bicycle for
18 a substantial portion of the travel be19
tween the employee’s residence and
20 place of employment, and
21 ‘‘(II) does not receive any benefit
22 described in subparagraph (A), (B),
23 or (C) of paragraph (1).’’.
24 (d) CONSTRUCTIVE RECEIPT OF BENEFIT.—Para25
graph (4) of section 132(f) is amended by inserting
207
O:\AYO\AYO08C32.xml S.L.C.
1 ‘‘(other than a qualified bicycle commuting reimburse2
ment)’’ after ‘‘qualified transportation fringe’’.
3 (e) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by
4 this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after
5 December 31, 2008.
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Old 10-02-08, 10:21 AM
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So I read that as I can claim 240 bux a year in deductions but not on my next tax return since the provision kicks in on December 31, 2008.

Can I write off the price of a bike or two also since I use them to commute?
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Old 10-02-08, 10:40 AM
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Would love to see an actual link to the text of the bill showing this.
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Old 10-02-08, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
Would love to see an actual link to the text of the bill showing this.
Link
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Old 10-02-08, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rdubbz View Post
Woah! Here's the real link:

https://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/...0g22x:e256472:
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Old 10-02-08, 11:00 AM
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I'm still confused. The link I used above (which is only temporary; this is apparently the good one) refers to section 132(f) which I also can't find.

Whatever, it'll either be there or it won't.
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Old 10-02-08, 11:21 AM
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This is the same thing that came up for a vote before. The benefit can only be claimed through your employer. This means that your employer has to do a bunch of paperwork and has to administer the benefit.

There's hardly a chance in hell most of us will get this benefit even if it passes.

I'm pissed that they can't pass even emergency legislation without dumping a truckload of stuff onto it to get Senator Smith From Pawtucket to vote for it. They see a "must pass" thing like this coming through, and every senator with a pet project tapes it onto the thing as it passes by.
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Old 10-02-08, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by deez View Post
So I read that as I can claim 240 bux a year in deductions but not on my next tax return since the provision kicks in on December 31, 2008.

Can I write off the price of a bike or two also since I use them to commute?
No. The provision allows your employer to reimburse you for bike commuting expenses, up to $20 a month, in a manner that the benefit is tax free (both to you and the employer).

Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
I'm still confused. The link I used above (which is only temporary; this is apparently the good one) refers to section 132(f) which I also can't find.

Whatever, it'll either be there or it won't.
Section 132(f) is the section of the tax code that deals with transportation fringe benefits. Currently, it allows for reimbursement for transit passes, certain van pooling expenses, and certain parking for car poolers.

Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
This is the same thing that came up for a vote before. The benefit can only be claimed through your employer. This means that your employer has to do a bunch of paperwork and has to administer the benefit.

There's hardly a chance in hell most of us will get this benefit even if it passes.
Most places that offer section 132(f) benefits (and lots of employers in bigger cities do) do so through a third-party benefit company. I expect that most of those will change their plans to allow for the new category of expenses, and that most employers will go along with that.
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Old 10-02-08, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by xbmxer
https://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/1878.html
Thanks xbmxer, that clarifies it, and what a backhanded "benefit". No thanks....
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Old 10-02-08, 12:47 PM
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Since the link keeps on begin rest
SEC. 211. TRANSPORTATION FRINGE BENEFIT TO BICYCLE COMMUTERS.

(a) In General- Paragraph (1) of section 132(f) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(D) Any qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement.'.

(b) Limitation on Exclusion- Paragraph (2) of section 132(f) is amended by striking `and' at the end of subparagraph (A), by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (B) and inserting `, and', and by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

`(C) the applicable annual limitation in the case of any qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement.'.

(c) Definitions- Paragraph (5) of section 132(f) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(F) DEFINITIONS RELATED TO BICYCLE COMMUTING REIMBURSEMENT-

`(i) QUALIFIED BICYCLE COMMUTING REIMBURSEMENT- The term `qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement' means, with respect to any calendar year, any employer reimbursement during the 15-month period beginning with the first day of such calendar year for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee during such calendar year for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee's residence and place of employment.

`(ii) APPLICABLE ANNUAL LIMITATION- The term `applicable annual limitation' means, with respect to any employee for any calendar year, the product of $20 multiplied by the number of qualified bicycle commuting months during such year.

`(iii) QUALIFIED BICYCLE COMMUTING MONTH- The term `qualified bicycle commuting month' means, with respect to any employee, any month during which such employee--

`(I) regularly uses the bicycle for a substantial portion of the travel between the employee's residence and place of employment, and

`(II) does not receive any benefit described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1).'.

(d) Constructive Receipt of Benefit- Paragraph (4) of section 132(f) is amended by inserting `(other than a qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement)' after `qualified transportation fringe'.

(e) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2008.

Definitely designed by warm weather proponent. I agree it's unlikely we'll see any benefit. The business accounting alone is more than the benefit.

A simple, $1.00 a day commuting as tax credit to individuals would solve the problem much cheaper. All they need to do is require riders keep a log of trips, like salesman have to: date, mileage, etc.
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Old 10-02-08, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
I'm pissed that they can't pass even emergency legislation without dumping a truckload of stuff onto it to get Senator Smith From Pawtucket to vote for it. They see a "must pass" thing like this coming through, and every senator with a pet project tapes it onto the thing as it passes by.
yeah this is true.
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Old 10-02-08, 12:54 PM
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They ought to just let us do it as a standard deduction like they do with teachers who spend personal money on classroom items. If you get audited, you have to show proof, but forget making employers set up programs like this. For a $240 deduction, it ain't worth it.
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Old 10-02-08, 01:36 PM
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My employer offers $30 per month for transit passes. I expect they'd be willing to do $20 per month for bicycling if the government was going to give it back to them.
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Old 10-02-08, 03:25 PM
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$240 might be enough to pay for a replacement tube a year from now. Whoop-de-doo!! way to buy a vote. These people disgust me.
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Old 10-02-08, 04:01 PM
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There going to give us all a new Rivendales? Crap...they can put my $20 towards the national debt instead of pissing it away.

Last edited by Booger1; 10-02-08 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 10-02-08, 05:52 PM
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Right now, Earl Blumenauer, whose vote this particular piece of pork is supposed to garner, says he still isn't going to vote for it.
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Old 10-02-08, 07:12 PM
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Is $20 a month really going to make a difference towards getting people to cycle commute?
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Old 10-03-08, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Is $20 a month really going to make a difference towards getting people to cycle commute?
That's not why it's in there. It's there so us, who already commute, will say "hey, sweet deal! I'm going to support voting YES to this bill"
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Old 10-03-08, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
My employer offers $30 per month for transit passes. I expect they'd be willing to do $20 per month for bicycling if the government was going to give it back to them.
That's exactly the kind of employer who will do this for bike commuters. The tax credit is for the business to reimburse employees who use public transit (currently) and includes bike commuters (in the future as part of this bill). If the business isn't currently reimbursing public transit users it won't start reimbursing bike riders because of this bill. But they could use the credit to pay for bike parking lockers or similar improvements (might require some semi-tricky book-keeping to turn it into an employee expense).


The employer tax break is laid out in Sec. 211, “Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters,” which is under the Transportation and Domestic Fuel Security Provision section in H.R. 1424. The $20 a month tax relief per bicycle commuting employee is to cover the cost of any employer reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred by the employee “for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee’s residence and place of employment.”
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Old 10-03-08, 02:52 PM
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If you don't play you can't win. I don't currently commute by bicycle but I emailed my HR department asking them if we could instate a commuter reimbursement program based on this new legislation. It is not real exact about how frequently I'd have to ride in to qualify, but if I could get my employer and ultimately Uncle Sam to pay for tubes, chain lube, and the occasional tire I'd be willing to ride in at least a few days a month.

I'm working on a "form letter" that others could fill out and send to their HR departments if they are interested in implementing this new legislation at their company.
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Old 10-03-08, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
If you don't play you can't win. I don't currently commute by bicycle but I emailed my HR department asking them if we could instate a commuter reimbursement program based on this new legislation. It is not real exact about how frequently I'd have to ride in to qualify, but if I could get my employer and ultimately Uncle Sam to pay for tubes, chain lube, and the occasional tire I'd be willing to ride in at least a few days a month.

I'm working on a "form letter" that others could fill out and send to their HR departments if they are interested in implementing this new legislation at their company.
Thanks! Please share it when you're done! This is the kind of thing that advocacy organizations should be doing. It would be great for Thunderhead to have in their resource pages.

In the meantime, Champe and I are trying to verify and add all the information we can, for our announcement:

https://www.vabike.org/bike-commuter-tax-benefit-passes-both-house-senate/

Hopefully we'll get it all together before Feedburner sends it out as email in a couple of hours.
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Old 10-03-08, 04:39 PM
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too little ... 20 bux don't even cover inner tubes or tires.

moar!!
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Old 10-03-08, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mattotoole View Post
Thanks! Please share it when you're done!
Ask and you shall receive-


Feel free to edit this as needed to better suit your employer.
____________________________________________________

Human Resources Department,

As I'm sure you are aware, the Congress just passed H.R.
1424 "The Bail-Out Bill" on Capitol Hill. Although this legislation
deals primarily with the housing market, there were several other
unrelated provisions added to the bill. Among these was a tax incentive
for employers who promote the use of bicycles for commuting. The
specifics of this tax break are laid out in Sec. 211, "Transportation
fringe benefit to bicycle commuters" under the Transportation and
Domestic Fuel Security Provision section but the change is pretty basic.
The bill offers a $20 a month tax relief per bicycle commuting employee
to cover the cost of any employer reimbursement for reasonable expenses
incurred by the employee "for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle
improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for
travel between the employee's residence and place of employment."

I am interested in finding a way that [Company Name] could implement a
program that would allow employees who cyclo-commute to expense less
than $20 a month in bike related expenses.

The benefits of an expense reimbursement program for cyclo-commuters
include:
• Lower fuel costs on company owned vehicles
• Less required maintenance on company owned vehicles
• Ability of [Company Name] to claim a full $20 per month per eligible employee
when actual expenses are likely to be far less
• Improved employee health which in turn increases employee productivity
• Creates a progressive and environmentally conscious image for the
company

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like additional
information about this recent tax code change.

Thank you,
HandsomeRyan
District Distribution Manager
Knoxville, TN
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