Commuter Tax Benefit Restored

According to various media sources, the “cliff deal” tax bill passed by Congress this week increases the tax benefit available to transit commuters to $240 per month, up from $125 per month in 2012.  A higher benefit has always been available for commuter parking, but in 2012 the previous parity between parking and transit was broken, and the transit benefit reduced to $125 while the parking benefit went up to $240 from $230.  Now the parity has been restored, although the transit benefit is now scheduled to expire again at the end of 2013.  Under the new law, the increase to $240 is retroactive to January 1, 2012, thus restoring the parity that was lacking throughout 2012.  All of these plans require that the commuter’s employer participate in the program.