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This might be more of a discussion for politically informed people. Does anyone here know who I should contact or if there is already some groups working on this? I'd love to be able to write off my bike sharing costs in Arizona, USA, or be able to pay for it out of my Commuter savings. More information about what I'm talking about can be found at this link. http://www.thewashcycle.com/2016/06/bicycle-commuter-benefit-still-cant-be-used-for-bike-sharing.html

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    Which country you are in? – ojs Feb 16 '17 at 21:34
  • I'm in Tempe, AZ USA. I think commuter benefits are a federal deduction. this link makes it sounds as if it's already a law but I know that as recently as 6 months ago it wasn't. – cparrish817 Feb 16 '17 at 22:28
  • More Info available here – cparrish817 Feb 16 '17 at 22:32
  • @cparrish817 I made some edits to clarify your question. Please feel free to revert them if you disagree with this. – cheers, gs (note: edits under peer review now) – gschenk Feb 16 '17 at 22:57
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    So my current understanding is that there is a bike commuter benefit write off but it can't be used for bike sharing programs. (check out the added links for more details). – cparrish817 Feb 18 '17 at 1:34
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If your company participates or could be encouraged to participate in WageWorks (a commercial commuting-cost management company), one of the optional packages is bicycling commuting costs. WageWorks handles the pre-tax deduction and reimbursements. Eligible expenses of up to $20/month include:

  • Bicycle improvements, such as handlebars, pedals, seats, tires, and other equipment that is permanently attached to the bicycle
  • Bicycle repairs
  • Bicycle purchase
  • Bicycle storage
  • Bicycle helmets

Unfortunately, bike sharing systems aren't included - and I don't think you could use the commuter transit plan (prepaid debit card) for those either, in fact your linked article makes it clear that they aren't:

In 2013, the IRS was asked if it could "adopt bike share as a qualifier for the Transportation (Commuting) Benefits program under the Fringe Benefit Exclusion Rules for transit," the same rules under which employers can give tax free transportation benefits to employees. But in July of that year, they said no, because bike share is not mass transit. They also said that bike share was not a qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement, which one could pay with the bicycle commuter benefit, because those were specifically limited to "expenses for the purchase of a bicycle or bicycle improvements, repair or storage."

Source: http://www.thewashcycle.com/2016/06/bicycle-commuter-benefit-still-cant-be-used-for-bike-sharing.html

So at this point what you need to do is to lobby your congresscritters to amend the legislation that directs how the IRS treats commuting costs so that bike sharing is included.

Note: to my chagrin, my employer participates in WageWorks but hasn't activated the bicycling option. So even if you have wageworks, you'd have to lobby to get bicycling added to it. As an aside, I really like the subsidized commuter bicycle purchase program that London has - since you can write-off your entire bike purchase and it's good for the local economy as you do it through your local bike shop.

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  • I guess I was hoping there was already a group lobbying for this that I could join. – cparrish817 Feb 24 '17 at 8:05
  • For the bicycle purchase, it is usually much more than 20$, not sure how to use this program to pay for the purchase? – Tmx Feb 29 at 8:57

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