Maryland employers, including 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations, can now claim a tax credit for 50 percent of eligible costs of providing commuter benefits up to a maximum credit of $50 per participating employee per month. The tax credit can be taken against personal income tax, corporate income tax or insurance premium tax.
Non-profits can claim the tax credit by:
• Submitting an annual registration form to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA).
• Setting up an account with Comptroller of the Treasury.
• Submitting participating employees' withholding taxes to the state, and retaining a portion as tax credit.
• Submitting a year-end Maryland Form 500CR to the state.
Credit is applicable to the following expenses:
• Transit instruments: MTA passes, tickets, fare cards, smart cards, or vouchers used by employees to ride publicly or privately owned transit systems, except taxi services. Employers can purchase transit instruments from MTA Commuter Choice Maryland, WMATA Smart Benefits, St. Mary's Transit, Calvert County Public Transportation, or Charles County's VanGO.
• Company vanpool program: Van purchase/lease, fuel, insurance, maintenance, safety, and equal access upgrades, and taxes and licenses.
• Company guaranteed ride home program: Expenses involved when an employer offers transportation home to an employee who is currently commuting by transit or vanpool and has a home emergency or unscheduled overtime. Employer may offer taxi rides, rental car, company vehicle, or transit.
• Company cash in lieu of parking program: Expenses involved when an employer offers an employee the taxable cash equivalent of a parking subsidy the employer is paying to provide that employee a subsidized parking space. Employees can either pay the full market value for the parking space or pocket the money and ride transit or a vanpool.
An employe must submit a registration form to the State of Maryland prior to filing a tax form. Submit forms to: Mr. Buddy Alves, MTA, 6 St. Paul Street, Office of Communications and Marketing, Baltimore, MD 21202. Employer should also complete form 500CR to apply tax credits toward the total tax liability for the calendar year in which commuter benefits are paid.
For additional information, contact:
• Mr. George Clark, Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland at 240-216-5571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• MTA at 410-767-8755 or visit www.commuterchoicemaryland.com or www.mtamaryland.com Comptroller of Maryland at 800-638-2937