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February 15, 2014

Taxable Fringe Benefit Guide Updated, Gets Publication Number

The Fringe Benefit Guide for federal, state, and local government employers (previously called the “Taxable Fringe Benefit Guide”) has been updated for 2014 and formally designated by the IRS for the first time with a reference number – Publication 5137.

The Guide was created to provide government employers with a basic understanding of the federal tax treatment and reporting rules for a wide variety of fringe benefits. Like its predecessors, the latest version summarizes many different types of fringe benefits, including employer-provided health plans, dependent care assistance, group term life insurance, qualified educational assistance programs, de minimis and working condition fringe benefits, qualified transportation benefits, travel expenses, meals and lodging, employer-provided vehicles, awards and prizes, and moving expenses.

Changes from 2013 include updates to indexed thresholds and limits, including mileage reimbursement rates, the threshold for “control employee" determination, and the limits for qualified transportation plans. Other additions include new examples in the discussion of employer-provided lodging, a reminder that actual vehicle expense reimbursements cannot be excluded from employee wages if a standard mileage rate reimbursement is also being provided, a new explanation of wage re-characterization, and revisions to the discussion of job-related education.

Click here to download the 95-page guide in PDF format.