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  • Introduction
  • Enrollment
  • Deductions
  • Termination
  • Reimbursement
  • Year End Balances
  • How Do I?
The State of Tennessee offers employees the opportunity to open Transportation and Parking Flexible Benefits Accounts as allowed by IRS Code 125 and 132.

These accounts benefit employees by allowing them to designate an amount, up to the established limitations, to be withheld from their paychecks as a pre-tax benefit. These deductions are forever exempt from Federal Income and Social Security taxes. Participation in this program will result in the employee having a lower tax obligation during each calendar year in which they participate.

Unlike Medical and Dependent Care Flexible Benefits Accounts, there is no requirement for new employees to enroll within 30 days of being hired, and there is no annual enrollment period for existing employees. An employee may enroll in a Transportation Account and/or a Parking Account at any time during employment.

Employees may enroll by completing a Transportation and Parking Election form. Your personnel officer can assist you with this process.

The completed form can be sent to Benefits Administration by mail, faxed to the number on the form, or scanned and emailed to Benefits.Administration@tn.gov.

Enrollments or changes received by the 15th of the month will have an effective date of the 1st of the following month. Termination requests received by the 15th of the month will be effective on the last day of the month received.

Verification of enrollment can be made by checking the employees’ personal information page on the Edison system.

To enroll in a Transportation Account and/or a Parking Account, complete the enrollment form and designate the total dollar amount to be withheld each month. For calendar year 2014, Transportation and Parking Accounts are limited to a maximum of $245.00 per month. These limits are subject to change by the IRS each year.



The costs associated with the use of mass transit and parking are subject to change at any time. To maximize the benefit of these accounts to employees, deductions for Transportation and Parking Accounts can be changed each month, if desired. The employee needs to complete a Transportation and Parking Election Form designating the revised amount.  The completed form can be sent to Benefits Administration by mail, faxed to the number on the form, or scanned and emailed to Benefits.Administration@tn.gov

Forms received by the 15th of the month will have an effective date of the 1st of the following month.
Transportation and Parking Flexible Benefits Accounts can be terminated at any time by the employee. To terminate an account, the employee needs to complete a new Transportation and Parking Election Form indicating to stop the account. The form must provide a termination date and be signed by the employee. The completed form can be sent to Benefits Administration by mail, faxed to the number on the form, or scanned and emailed to Benefits.Administration@tn.gov.

When an employee terminates for any reason, his/her account will be stopped as of the date of the last contribution, or one day beyond the date of their latest reimbursement.

Any request for reimbursement must be for expenses incurred during the time of employment. If funds are not claimed by June 30th of the following year, the amount will be forfeited.
An employee may request reimbursement by completing a Transportation and Parking Reimbursement Request form. The form must contain the name of the employee, social security number, the employee’s Edison ID number, contact phone number, and department or agency name.

Under the appropriate section, transportation or parking, the employee must list the date the expense was incurred, the name of the service provider, the name of the employee, and the dollar amount being requested. The employee will also need to sign and date the form before the request can be processed.

Along with the completed form, the employee must submit copies of receipts that will justify the expense. The receipt must contain the name of the service provider (name and address of owner if a private van was used), the date the expense was incurred, the name of the employee, and the amount of the expense. Cancelled checks, credit card statements, and bank statements are not acceptable as receipts to prove a charge has been incurred.

Parking receipts will normally be issued through an automated process and will not include the employee’s name. These receipts will be accepted if the other criteria are on the receipts.

Once the reimbursement has been audited and entered for payment, the employee can expect the money to be deposited directly into his/her bank account within 7-10 business days. All deposits will be made to the bank account information on file for payroll direct deposit.

Employees who have an available account balance in a Transportation or Parking Flexible Benefits Account as of December 31st will have until June 30th of the following year to claim the remaining funds. However, the expenses must have been incurred within the year just ending.

Previous year fund balances unclaimed by June 30th will be rolled to an active current year account of the same type. There is no annual “use it or lose it” rule with Transportation and Parking accounts.

Questions

 

Answers

What are Transportation and Parking Flexible Benefits Accounts?
State employees may elect to open a Transportation and/or Parking Flexible Benefits Account to submit expenses incurred for the use of "Qualified Transportation Expenses" to and from work, and/or for "Qualified Parking Expenses" incurred while working for the State.

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What is a "Qualified Transportation Expense"?
A "Qualified Transportation Expense" is the cost incurred by the employee to commute from home to work and from work to home on a public mass transit system, or by participating in a qualified van pool. Examples are commuter rail services, public bus systems, taxi service, shuttle service, a van pool operated through a transportation arrangement with the State or a public transit system, or a privately owned van that qualifies as a "commuter highway vehicle."

The IRS defines a "commuter highway vehicle" as:

  • The seating capacity of which is at least six (6) adults (not including the driver);
  • At least 80 percent of the mileage use of which is reasonably expected.
  • For purposes of transporting employees in connection with travel between their residences and their place of employment
  • On trips during which the number of employees transported for such purposes is at least ½ of the adult seating capacity of such vehicle (not including the driver).

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Can a group of employees get together and use a personal vehicle as a car pool and claim this as a transportation expense?
Any privately owned vehicle used for pooled transportation must meet the IRS guidelines as outlined above.

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What is a "Qualified Parking Expense"?
A "Qualified Parking Expense" is the cost incurred by an employee to park their personal vehicle during the time they are working for the State. This expense can be incurred at a public or privately owned parking facility.

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What about State issued bus passes?
In some areas of the State, bus passes are provided to employees free of charge.  These free passes do not qualify as an incurred expense.

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Can I claim gas and mileage as a transportation expense if I use my personal vehicle?
No. Expenses must be related to the use of mass transit or a sanctioned program.

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I use my personal vehicle for State business. Can I claim the expenses through a Transportation and Parking Account?
No. Using your personal vehicle for State business is reimbursable through your agency's travel reimbursement process.

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How do I enroll in a Transportation and/or Parking Account?
You may enroll in Transportation and Parking accounts using the Edison Self-Service feature.

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When can I enroll?
Unlike the Medical and Dependent Care Accounts, you may enroll in a Transportation and Parking Account at any time during the year.

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Can I change an elected amount during the year?
Unlike the Medical and Dependent Care Accounts, you may change your elected Transportation and/or Parking Accounts amount at any time. Enrollments or changes received by the 15th of the month will become effective the 1st of the following month.

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What are the limitations on the amounts I can elect?
Transportation and parking costs are limited to $245.00 per month for calendar year 2014.

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How do I receive reimbursement?
Complete a Transportation and Parking Reimbursement Request Form and submit the form to the Flexible Benefits office. Along with the form you must include a receipt that includes the name and address of the provider (name and address of owner if a private van was used), the date the expense was incurred, the name of the employee and the amount of the expense. Copies of tickets, canceled checks, credit card statements and bank statements are not acceptable as receipts.

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Can I receive reimbursements for expenses incurred by my dependents?
No. Expenses must be related to the use of mass transit or a sanctioned program.

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Is there a monthly limit on the amount I can be reimbursed?
Yes. During any given month, you can only be reimbursed up to a maximum of $245.00 for a Transportation or Parking Account, depending on the amount of your deduction.

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Do I have to submit a request each month to avoid going over the maximum monthly amount allowable?
No. You can submit request at any interval you desire.

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What happens when I go on vacation or have an unexpected extended leave?
If you know you will not be incurring any transportation or parking expenses during a given time period, complete a Transportation and Parking Election Form and select the appropriate box to stop your account.

When you are ready to resume your account, complete a new form and select the enrollment box.

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Will any unused money be refunded?
No. Money contributed to an account can only be dispersed by meeting the qualifications for reimbursement.

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