IRS Releases Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits

What’s New

Cents-per-mile rule. The business mileage rate for 2020 is 57.5 cents per mile. You may use this rate to reimburse an employee for business use of a personal vehicle, and under certain conditions, you may use the rate under the cents-per-mile rule to value the personal use of a vehicle you provide to an employee. See Cents-Per-Mile Rule in section 3.

Qualified parking exclusion and commuter transportation benefit. For 2020, the monthly exclusion for qualified parking is $270 and the monthly exclusion for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes is $270. See Qualified Transportation Benefits in section 2.

Contribution limit on a health flexible spending arrangement (FSA). For plan years beginning in 2020, a cafeteria plan may not allow an employee to request salary reduction contributions for a health FSA in excess of $2,750. For more information, see Cafeteria Plans in section 1.

New Form 1099-NEC. There is a new Form 1099-NEC to report nonemployee compensation paid in 2020. The 2020 Form 1099-NEC will be due February 1, 2021. For nonemployee compensation paid in 2019, continue to use Form 1099-MISC, which is due January 31, 2020.


Moving expense reimbursements. P.L. 115-97, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, suspends the exclusion for qualified moving expense reimbursements from your employee’s income for tax years beginning after 2017 and before 2026. However, the exclusion is still available in the case of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty who moves because of a permanent change of station due to a military order. The exclusion applies only to reimbursement of moving expenses that the member could deduct if he or she had paid or incurred them without reimbursement. See Moving Expenses in Pub. 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide, for the definition of what constitutes a permanent change of station and to learn which moving expenses are deductible.

Bicycle commuting reimbursements. P.L. 115-97 suspends the exclusion of qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements from your employee’s income for tax years beginning after 2017 and before 2026. See Transportation (Commuting) Benefitsin section 2.

Withholding on supplemental wages. P.L. 115-97 lowered the federal income tax withholding rates on supplemental wages for tax years beginning after 2017 and before 2026. See Withholding and depositing taxesin section 4 for the withholding rates.

Additional permitted election changes for health coverage under a cafeteria plan. Notice 2014-55, 2014-41 I.R.B. 672, available at, expands the application of the permitted change rules for health coverage under a cafeteria plan and discusses two specific situations in which a cafeteria plan participant is permitted to revoke his or her election under a cafeteria plan during a period of coverage.

Definition of marriage. A marriage of two individuals is recognized for federal tax purposes if the marriage is recognized by the state, possession, or territory of the United States in which the marriage is entered into, regardless of legal residence. Two individuals who enter into a relationship that is denominated as a marriage under the laws of a foreign jurisdiction are recognized as married for federal tax purposes if the relationship would be recognized as marriage under the laws of at least one state, possession, or territory of the United States, regardless of legal residence. Individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that isn’t denominated as a marriage under the law of the state, possession, or territory of the United States where such relationship was entered into aren’t lawfully married for federal tax purposes, regardless of legal residence. Notice 2014-1 discusses how certain rules for cafeteria plans, including health and dependent care FSAs, and health savings accounts (HSAs) apply to same-sex spouses participating in employee benefit plans. Notice 2014-1, 2014-2 I.R.B. 270, is available at

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Tax questions. If you have a tax question not answered by this publication, check and How To Get Tax Helpat the end of this publication.

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