Effective 1/1/2016, the New York City Mass Transit Benefits Law will require employers with 20+ full-time employees working in New York City to offer their full-time employees the opportunity to use pre-tax income to purchase qualified transportation fringe benefits. Full-time employees are defined as those working on average 30+ hours per week. Transportation costs covered under the law include transportation on public or privately owned mass transit or commuter vans with a seating capacity of six or more passengers, including but not limited to the subway, bus, and ferry. A list of mass transit providers is available here. Employers are not required to officially report on the commuter benefits offered; however, employers must provide full-time employees with a written offer of the opportunity to use pre-tax income to purchase qualified fringe benefits and maintain a record of whether the employee accepted or declined the offer. Although the law is effective 1/1/2016, employers have a six month grace period until 7/1/2016 before any penalties may be imposed.


Action Item

Employers should first determine whether the organization is subject to the New York City Mass Transit Benefits Law. If the law applies to your organization, review your current commuter benefits offering and ensure that you are ready to comply with the new law by 1/1/2016.


More Information

For additional information, please visit the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs website.


The information and materials on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice. Information provided in this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments and may vary by jurisdiction. The content on this blog is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any particular facts or circumstances. The use of this blog does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship, nor should any such relationship be implied, and the contents do not constitute legal or tax advice. If you require legal or tax advice, please consult with a licensed attorney or tax professional in your jurisdiction. The contributing authors expressly disclaim all liability to any persons or entities with respect to any action or inaction based on the contents of this blog.

Bonnie Mangels – Bonnie is the Corporate Counsel and Senior Compliance Manager for Sequoia. When not inundated in paperwork and legal briefs, her interests include arts and crafts, bunnies, and the Bay Area.