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NYC Employers Must Offer Pre-Tax Transit Benefits in 2016

As of Jan. 1, 2016, New York City private employers with 20 or more full-time employees will be required to offer pretax transit benefits to their full-time employees. The new law is enforced by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and employers who do not already offer these benefits will need to have a program in place when the new law takes effect, or face penalties.


For the purposes of determining eligibility for the New York City transit benefits law, qualifying individuals must be of full-time status. This law defines full-time status as those working an average of 30 or more hours per week. These employees will remain eligible for the duration of their employment, regardless of if the employer’s workforce drops below the 20-employee threshold.


The DCA will allow employers a six month grace period to comply before imposing penalties. First violations will cost between $100 and $250, while penalties for subsequent offenses will cost the ladder, $250 per violation.

First offenders will receive a 90-day window to cure an offense. If the employer is able to comply within this timeframe, penalties will be avoided. However, if after the 90 days an employer fails to take action, they will be charged a $250 fine every 30-day period in which compliance is not met.

How it helps

The new law may bring benefits for both employers and employees. Employers can save by reducing payroll taxes. Not to mention, transit benefits are incentives to attract potential candidates. On the other hand, employees can reduce the amount of income tax they pay and their commuting costs are tax-free.