A recent survey by the federally funded program, Best Workplaces for Commuters, found that 12 percent of respondents had considered switching their jobs simply to shorten their commute because of increasing gas prices. Many employers are trying to find ways in which to lessen the financial impact on their employees by encouraging them to sign up for commuter tax benefit programs, discount programs with local mass transit and offering transportation subsidies.
Currently under I.R.S. rule 132(f) commuters can receive up to $105 a month in tax-free transit benefits from participating employers. This can translate into $400 a year in income tax savings.
Self-employed workers and employees without benefits may also find relief as well. Under a proposed bi-partisan bill, the Reducing Individuals’ Dependence on Energy (RIDE) bill, H.R. 5662, they would be allowed to deduct up to $1,260 per year, or $2,250 for a joint return for commuting costs.
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