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