Tax Credits Commuters Can Take Advantage Of This Tax Season
Sometimes, being stuck in traffic can pay off. Whether you commute to work in your car or take public transportation, you can save some money when you file your taxes.
If you want to know what tax credits you can use as a commuter, this blog post is for you.
What tax credits can commuters use?
A tax credit is a tax benefit that allows individuals or businesses to reduce the tax they owe to the government. The federal government offers several different tax credits that can help individuals save money on their taxes, including credits for commuters.
One such credit is the commuter tax credit, available to individuals who use public transportation, carpooling, or vanpooling to commute to and from work. This credit allows eligible taxpayers to claim a credit of up to $280 per month for their commuting expenses, which can help to offset the costs associated with traveling to work.
To qualify for the commuter tax credit, you must have paid for your commuting expenses with pre-tax dollars through a qualified transportation fringe benefit program. This means that the money you use to pay for your commuting expenses is not subject to federal income tax, Social Security tax, or Medicare tax.
In addition to the commuter tax credit, other tax credits may be available to individuals who commute to work. For example, the Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Tax Credit allows taxpayers who purchase or lease a new alternative fuel vehicle to claim a credit. This credit is available for vehicles powered by electricity, hybrid power, propane, natural gas, and other alternative fuels.
What is the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction?
It's important to note that tax credits are different from tax deductions. A tax deduction reduces the income subject to tax, while a tax credit directly reduces the amount of tax you owe. This means that tax credits can provide more savings than tax deductions, as they directly reduce the tax you must pay.
How can I claim the commuter tax credit?
First, it's important to understand that the commuter tax credit is just one of many different tax credits available to individuals and businesses. In addition to the commuter tax credit, there are credits for a wide range of activities, including education, childcare, charitable giving, and energy-efficient home improvements.
The amount of the commuter tax credit that you can claim depends on the type of transportation you use to commute to work. For example, if you use public transportation, such as a bus or train, you can claim a credit of up to $280 per month. If you use a carpool or vanpool, you can claim a credit of $280 per month.
To claim the commuter tax credit, you must fill out Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, when you file your taxes. On this form, you will need to provide information about your commuting expenses, including the amount you paid for your transportation, the type of transportation you used, and the dates you used it. You will also need proof of your expenses, such as receipts or statements from your employer or transportation provider.
In addition to the commuter tax credit, other tax credits may be available to individuals who commute to work. For example, the AFV Tax Credit mentioned earlier can provide significant savings for individuals who purchase or lease a new alternative fuel vehicle. There are also credits available for installing charging stations for electric vehicles and purchasing low-emission vehicles.
It's important to note that tax credits are only available to individuals or businesses that meet certain eligibility requirements. For example, the commuter tax credit is only available to individuals who use pre-tax dollars to pay for commuting expenses. The AFV Tax Credit is only available for vehicles powered by certain alternative fuels and has certain limitations on the amount of credit that can be claimed.
Do rideshare services qualify?
Rides with ride-sharing services like Lyft or Uber could qualify for the commuter tax credit, but it depends on several factors.
First, to qualify for the commuter tax credit, you must have paid for your commuting expenses with pre-tax dollars through a qualified transportation fringe benefit program. If you pay for your rides with Lyft or Uber using pre-tax dollars, these rides could qualify for the commuter tax credit. However, it's important to note that the IRS has not specifically addressed the issue of whether rides with ride-sharing services qualify for the credit. As a result, it's unclear whether the IRS would consider these rides eligible for the credit.
Additionally, even if the IRS were to allow rides with Lyft or Uber to be eligible for the credit, other factors could affect your ability to claim the credit. For example, the credit is only available for rides to and from work, so if you use Lyft or Uber for other purposes, such as running errands or going out with friends, those rides would not be eligible.
What expenses do not qualify?
Some expenses do not qualify for the commuter tax credit, including the following:
- Expenses that are not related to commuting to and from work, such as the cost of driving to run errands or go on vacation
- Expenses that are not paid for with pre-tax dollars through a qualified transportation fringe benefit program
- Expenses for transportation that the taxpayer's employer provides, such as a company car or vanpool
- Expenses for transportation that is not used primarily for commuting, such as a motorcycle or recreational vehicle
In addition to the commuter tax credit, other tax credits have their own eligibility requirements and exclusions. For example, the AFV Tax Credit is only available for vehicles powered by certain alternative fuels and has certain limitations on the amount of credit that can be claimed. It is also not available for vehicles used primarily for business purposes.
How can Taxfyle help?
Tracking what you can save when it comes to your taxes is a complicated process. And more often than not, you don’t know the nuances behind each credit and deduction. Luckily, some people do.
When you file your taxes with Taxfyle, you’re filing with confidence. That’s because we connect you to a CPA or EA who is an expert in all things tax. That means you can spend your time focusing on something else while a tax professional takes care of the work for you.
This tax season, save yourself the stress of filing taxes when you file with a Pro.