Commuter FAQs Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursement Program

Reimbursements

The process remains the same. Using your PennKey and password, log into Concur and file your expense report as instructed.  You may access the site from a desktop or laptop computer or a smart device such as a tablet or mobile phone. The claim period extends from January 1 until the end of February for those bicycle commuters who wish to claim reimbursements for the tax year just concluded.

Yes. Sales tax is considered part of the purchase price and is eligible for reimbursement.

Yes. You can claim reimbursement up to $20 times the number of your eligible bike commuter months in the calendar year. For instance, if you only commute by bike from May – September, that would be $20 x 5, or $100 maximum annual reimbursement for the calendar year.  To be eligible, you may not concurrently receive another commuter benefit during that time.

The Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursement Program is managed by the Division of Business Services, and all expense report reviews and approvals will flow automatically past the default approver to Business Services personnel.

 This is an employer-sponsored reimbursement program.  You pay for eligible expenses out of pocket, and then submit a request for reimbursement to Penn, accompanied by your receipts during the reimbursement period, which is January – February each year.  All reimbursement of bike commuter expenses will be processed as an annual expense report through the Concur Expense Management System.

NOTE: There may be bike commuters that travel on behalf of the University and use a Penn Travel Card to expense their purchases in Concur.  The Penn Travel Card, the University’s recommended credit card for work-related travel and entertainment expenses,  should not be used to charge these personal purchases.

Claims from Tax Year 2017 may be submitted beginning January 1, 2018, and no later than February 28, 2018.    

You may upload your receipts to Concur at any time throughout the tax year; however, participants will create and submit expense reports during the annual claim period from January 1 to the end of February. 

 

Bike Commuter expense reports will be paid within 45 days of submission.  It is possible that the reimbursement will be paid any time after January 15, but no later than March 31.

The reimbursement will be paid like any other expense that flows through Concur.  Once the expense report has been approved for payment to the bike commuter, it will be sent directly to the direct deposit bank account that receives your normal paycheck.  It will be a separate deposit (not part of your paycheck).

Employees who receive their pay on ADP pay cards will have their reimbursements posted to that card through Concur.

Yes.  According to the current IRS statute, employers may only reimburse bicycle commuters up to $20 per eligible bike commuting month tax-free, for an annual maximum reimbursement of $240. Further, a reimbursement will only be issued provide the qualified expense was made during an eligible bike commuting month.

Penn’s new program begins at the start of Tax Year 2017.  Any expenses incurred  prior to January 1, 2017 are not eligible for reimbursement.

Yes, if you have commuted greater than 50% by bicycle to and from work for twelve months, and submit a request for the $240 in the January - February 2018 claim period.  Include a copy of the itemized receipt that shows the bike purchase of $1,000.  Once your expense report has been processed, you will receive the maximum $240 reimbursement.

Remember, bike commuters may only claim a $20 credit for those months they commuted greater than 50% by bicycle to and from work, AND did not receive another commuter fringe benefit such as qualified parking or transit discounts.

A qualified bicycle reimbursement may be claimed across more than one month provided that the purchase was made in an eligible bike commuting month.  You can claim reimbursement for the expense up to $20 times the number of eligible months in the calendar year.  In this case, however, you would have had to have commuted by bike for three months in the tax year, to qualify for the entire $50.

Additionally, the remaining amount of the $50 qualified purchase made in TY 2017 may not be rolled over to TY 2018. 

There are several reasons why reimbursement may be rejected. They include missing or illegible receipts, receipts missing the required level of detail, no receipt submitted, costs incurred outside of the eligibility period, a bicycle that is not registered with the Division of Public Safety,  duplicate submittals, non-eligible participant, a claim for an ineligible expense, etc.

An acceptable receipt has the following information: vendor name, date of purchase, the dollar amount of purchase and item description (such as brake repair or helmet).

As stipulated by IRS code and as a bona-fide reimbursement program, valid receipts must be provided for all expenses.

You will be notified through an email from Concur if your bicycle commuter reimbursement cannot be approved as submitted, with appropriate comments.  You may then modify and resubmit the reimbursement up to the close of the submittal period.

The receipt date must fall within the appropriate tax year.  As an example, reimbursement claims filed in January and February 2018 will be for purchases made in Tax Year 2017.

Reimbursements need not be declared on your personal taxes. You are eligible to receive up to $20 per qualified bike commuter month tax-free. IRS guidance maintains that the value of transportation fringe benefits such as these expenses is excluded from wages up to, in this instance, $240.