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IRS Releases Updated Employer Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits

Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2018 6:31 am

Changes to the tax code resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are reflected in IRS Publication 15-B, Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, recently published for use in 2018.  The updated Guide was released last week, and highlights changes including:

  • Removal of language discussing moving expense reimbursements in light of tax code changes suspending the exclusion of such benefits from an employee’s income for any tax year beginning after December 31, 2017 and ending before January 1, 2026.
  • Updates to the Guide’s discussion of meals and transportation (commuting) benefits due to tax code changes (a) limiting the employer’s deduction of expenses for certain fringe benefits; and (b) suspending the exclusion of qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements from employee income for any tax year beginning after December 31, 2017 and ending before January 1, 2026. The Guide notes that employers can provide a maximum of $260 per month for transit passes, van pools and qualified parking expenses on a tax-free basis. 
  • Inclusion of information in the Guide’s discussion of achievement awards that defines items that are not tangible personal property for achievement award purposes.
  • Updates to the Guide’s discussion of employee stock options, including circumstances in which employees may elect to defer recognition of income after exercising an option and receiving stock.
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