How to use your Commuter Benefits
While there may not be a lot you can do to avoid the daily grind of getting to and from work, there is a way to help make your commute more affordable. Commuter Benefits allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars from your paycheck to pay for qualified commuting expenses, such as a monthly train pass and parking at the station. Because contributions are deducted from payroll on a pre-tax basis they are not subject to income tax withholding1, or payroll taxes such as Social Security and Medicare (FICA), so you can keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
- Transit accounts help you pay for public transportation expenses, such as bus, train, ferry, subway or vanpool, when travelling between your home and workplace.
- Parking accounts help you pay for parking expenses at or near your workplace, or near whichever form of public transportation you use to get to work.
Paying for commuter expenses is easy and convenient
Paying for transit and parking expenses is done in much the same way as you pay for other expenses using a debit card. Simply swipe your debit card and the charges go against the appropriate health and benefit account based on your enrollment and the merchant code for each transaction. When you pay with your Bank of America Health and Benefit Account Debit Card, there’s no need for receipts or waiting around for reimbursements. While your debit card is the only form of payment you can use for transit expenses, you can pay for parking expenses either with your debit card or another source, and then submit a claim to reimburse yourself via the member website or MyHealth mobile app.
How to submit parking expense claims
On the member website:
- Select “File a Claim” > Choose the account you want to pay "From” > Choose who to make a payment "To"
- If you were provided a receipt, follow the upload instructions
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the claim submission process and click “Submit”
Understanding the “use it or lose it” rules
Any unused funds in your commuter accounts roll over from month-to-month. If you leave your employer, you will have an employer-defined run-out period to submit any expenses incurred during active employment. Any remaining funds will be forfeited. If you are not spending your full contribution each month, you may want to reduce or stop your contributions. Remember, Commuter Benefits are for your use only, and accounts cannot be used for expenses incurred by your spouse or dependents.
Keep more money in your pocket
Even if you don’t always look forward to your commute, you can look forward to using your Commuter Benefits to pay for transit and parking expenses. It’s easy and convenient to use – and you could potentially benefit from significant tax savings by the end of the year.
1 State and/or local income tax treatment of payroll contributions to a Commuter Benefit account may vary. Participants may wish to consult with a tax advisor regarding the state income tax treatment of such contributions.