Important Notice Regarding TY2017 Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursements
Effective January 1, 2018, tax regulations for the Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursement Program have changed. Under the old law, qualified bicycle commuter reimbursements were excludable from an employee’s gross income (i.e.- treated as tax-exempt). The new law has repealed this provision and TY2017 reimbursements will be considered taxable income.
To comply with these changes, bicycle commuting reimbursements issued by Penn and are based on 2017 Tax Year eligible expenses are now subject to wage-withholding taxes on those reimbursements made in the first quarter of 2018. The reimbursements will continue to be made via CONCUR through March month-end; however, the imputed income will be assessed to each individual during the last payroll cycle in March.
The Penn Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursement Program offers bicycle commuting expenses to qualified faculty and staff for any out of pocket eligible expenses up to $240 annually. Unlike a flexible spending account, reimbursement comes directly from the University and is not set aside from pre-tax pay by the individual program participant.
Expense categories that the University will reimburse are bike purchases; maintenance, improvements, and bike accessories; parking and commercial storage costs; and safety gear. Purchases such as membership and program fees along with clothing and apparel are not considered allowable expenses.
Funding for this program is provided by the Division of Business Services as part of the University’s Climate Action Plan.
Follow the steps below to enroll in the program.
Confirm your eligibility. Participants must:
- Be full-time benefits-eligible faculty or staff;
- Commute by bicycle to and from Penn greater than 50% of the time in a qualified bike commuting month;
- Not participate in any of Penn’s other commuter transit or parking programs; and
- Register the bike with the Division of Public Safety
Download Eligibility Form
All program participants are required to complete the Eligibility Form.
Submit Your Claims
Claims from Tax Year 2017 may be submitted from January 1 until February 28, 2018. Concur, the University’s expense management system, will be leveraged to support the overall process. Bike commuters are encouraged to access Concur at any time throughout this tax year to upload their receipts of eligible expenses.