Wisconsin explains treatment of transportation fringe benefits

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has issued a personal income tax notice discussing the exclusion from employee wages for the value of certain transportation fringe benefits provided by an employer to an employee. For federal purposes, the amount that may be excluded from employee wages for 2014 is limited as follows:

• $250 per month for qualified parking;

• $250 per month for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes; and

• $20 per qualified bicycle commuting month

For Wisconsin purposes, the amount that may be excluded from employee wages for 2014 is limited as follows:

• $250 per month for qualified parking;

• $130 per month for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes; and

• $20 per qualified bicycle commuting month.

To report the difference between the federal and Wisconsin treatment of commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes on Form W-2, employers must either (1) include the amount that is taxable for Wisconsin purposes, but not taxable for federal purposes, in Box 16 of the Form W-2 or (2) provide the employee with a supplemental Wisconsin-only Form W-2 with the taxable benefits in Box 16.
With respect to 2015, the notice states that, as of January 1, 2015, Wisconsin will follow the federal amounts of $250 per month for qualified parking, $130 per month for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes, and $20 per qualified bicycle commuting month. The notice is available at http://www.revenue.wi.gov/taxpro/news/2015/150112.html. (News for Tax Professionals, Wisconsin Department of Revenue, January 12, 2015.)

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