What are “Qualified Transportation Accounts” or “QTAs”?
Also known as Transportation Fringe Benefit Plans and Commuter Benefits, Section 132(f)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code allows participants to pay for qualified parking and/or mass transit commuting expenses on a pre-tax basis.
What is the maximum amount permitted to be set aside on a pre-tax basis?
For 2020, the limit is $270 per month for parking and $270 per month for mass transit (bus/train passes, vanpool, etc.) costs. A participant could reduce taxable income by up to $540 per month!
What expenses are eligible for reimbursement?
- Qualified Parking is defined by the IRS as:
- Out-of-pocket parking costs at or near the participant's place of employment, or;
- Parking at a location from which the participant commutes to work by mass transit, commuter highway vehicle or carpool (e.g. the cost of a parking lot at a train station so that a participant can continue their commute via train, bus or carpool).
- Mass Transit is defined by the IRS as:
- Transportation in a commuter highway vehicle in connection with travel between the participant's residence and place of employment, or;
- Any transit pass (token, fare card, voucher) purchased for travel between the participant's residence and place of employment.
May participants be reimbursed for tolls, mileage, taxis, or fuel? How about personal or business travel expenses?
No. Only qualified expenses for workplace parking or transit as described above are eligible.
How do participants enroll in the plan?
Participants may enroll in a QTA prior to the start of any month unless. Participants will need to designate an amount for transit expenses and a separate amount for parking expenses. Separate reimbursement accounts are maintained for each category, and funds cannot be commingled or transferred between accounts.
How does the GDI Debit card work with a QTA plan?
Qualified Transportation Account payroll deductions are loaded onto the card. The card is used to purchase qualified parking and/or mass transit services. The necessary funds for each transaction are deducted directly from the appropriate account(s). Purchases are limited by the participant's available transit and/or parking account balance.
Can a participant start using the card immediately?
Funds are available on the card after payroll deductions are posted to the account(s).
Our employees already use the card for our Medical FSA plan. Will another card be issued for QTA benefits?
The GDI Debit card can be used to access all of a participant's pre-tax accounts. Participants will not receive a separate card for QTA benefit(s).
Does a participant select “debit” or “credit” at the point of purchase?
If a PIN has not been established, then “credit” should be selected at the point of sale.
How are my QTA expenses substantiated?
QTA transactions are automatically substantiated at the point of purchase through the technology built into the card.
If a participant did not use the card for a purchase, how can the expense be reimbursed?
IRS regulations prohibit us from reimbursing transit expenses not paid for with the card. As a result, the participant may need to adjust his or her monthly election for the missed transaction. If the purchase was for parking, participants may submit a request for reimbursement in one of two ways:
- Click on the Log In button at the top of this screen
- Click here for the Parking Reimbursement Request form
May contribution amount(s) change during the year?
If parking and/or transit costs change during the year, participants may make a subsequent change to the election(s) on a monthly basis. All changes must be made on a prospective basis only.
Can the card be used after employment ends?
The card will no longer function once a termination of employment has been processed. A former participant may submit receipts for any unreimbursed parking expenses, incurred while employed, within the plan’s run out period. Unreimbursed transit expenses are not eligible for reimbursement.
If a card is lost or stolen, who should be contacted?
If a card is lost or stolen, please notify GDI’s Reimbursement Team at (800) 626-3539 immediately.
Will participants receive a new debit card each year?
Cards last for 3-5 years, so participants will not receive a new card until the expiration date of the current card.
What is the time frame for requesting reimbursement?
IRS regulations indicate that requests must be received within 180 days of the date of service. If a participant revokes an election and remains eligible to participate, he or she may continue to use the card in order to exhaust the balance in the transit and/or parking account. Upon termination of employment, the card will be deactivated. You may submit receipts, for any unreimbursed parking expenses incurred while employed, within the plan’s run out period.