If you're scratching your head looking for ways to attract and hold onto employees, you might want to try the tax-exempt transportation program.
Although it won't have the allure of stock options or health club memberships, it has one definite attraction: It will cost you almost nothing to offer it.
An IRS regulation implemented this past January allows employees to reduce their gross income and federal income tax, according to Mike Schneider, a tax partner at Sisterson & Co. Specifically, the regulations allow employees who pay for parking to reduce their taxable income by up to $175 a month. And those who take the bus to work can have their gross taxable income reduced by as much as $65 a month.
Employers who choose to take advantage of the reduction can collect and credit employees' parking receipts weekly, twice a month, monthly or quarterly, whatever the company's preference.
Now if they can just come up with a way to offer a free lunch.