Employee Fringe Benefit Lawyers
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What Are Employee Fringe Benefits?
Employee fringe benefits are benefits that employees receive as a result of their employment, including those benefits provided through someone other than an employer.
Are Employee Fringe Benefits Taxable as Gross Income?
The federal tax code's defines gross income as any instance of undeniable accession to wealth from whatever source derived. Given this definition, employee fringe benefits are taxable gross income for all taxpayers.
Does the IRS Exclude Some Benefits Not Taxable as Gross Income?
The IRS has designated a number of fringe benefits which are not taxable as gross income. Importantly, the IRS has indicated that the benefits excluded from the general rule that fringe benefits are gross income are only excludable from gross income if they are benefits available to all employees of a company. That is, if not all employees of a company have access to a particular benefit, then that benefit cannot be excluded from an individual taxpayer's gross income no matter what.
What Are the Exact Fringe Benefits Excluded from Being Taxed as Gross Income?
The following list represents just a few of the fringe benefits excluded from being taxed as gross income:
- No additional cost to employer services - A benefit which the employer offers to an employee which does not cause the employer to incur substantial costs. For example an airline attendant who gets to fly for free.
- Qualified employee discounts - If the discount is on a service businesses are limited to giving a 20% discount. If the discount is on a good (something tangible) business are generally limited to discounting to cost (what they bought it for) or greater.
- Working condition fringes - A benefit that is furnished by your employer free of charge that had you paid for it you would have gotten a business deduction. Importantly, you as a taxpayer do not get to exclude and deduct this benefit, you only get to forgo reporting it as a part of your gross income.
- De minimus fringe - A benefit you receive which your employer does not do an accounting for (i.e. the coffee in the lounge or copy paper). Importantly, your employer may still be able to take deductions for these items despite the fact that you took them as exclusions from your income.
- Qualified transportation fringe - A work related transportation reimbursement that an employer provides to an employee for the employee to get back and forth to work. Importantly, this fringe doesn't include use of a company car, but in big cities does include up to a maximum of $100 towards a transportation pass on public transport.
- Qualified moving expense reimbursement - A benefit that allows reimbursement of reasonable moving costs and lodging during the move. Make sure to document all expenses.
Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding my Employee Benefit Deductions?
With all the tax software out there, most people are capable of doing their taxes on their own. More sophisticated and more complex tax returns may require more time and perhaps the advice of a lawyer. Additionally, should you have a dispute with the taxing authority regarding you deductions and exclusions, you may need to go to court, and then a lawyer may be required.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 10-10-2011 04:15 PM PDT
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