Faculty and Staff Tax Incentives

When you commute by public transit or pay for parking for your commute, you can save money by lowering your taxable income through enrolling in these tax benefits.

Eligible faculty and staff save money when they put aside pre-tax, paycheck dollars that are for transit and/or parking expenses associated with their commute.

The table below shows the maximum monthly allowable amount eligible faculty and staff may withhold for transit and parking expenses.

For details on eligible expenses, visit: http://hr.columbia.edu/tprp-expenses

Calculate your savings.

How It Works

These dollars are taken out of your Columbia paycheck before income tax is applied. This lowers the amount of tax you pay on your income, saving you money.

How to Enroll

Eligible faculty and staff may enroll at any time.

Log in to the CU Benefits Enrollment System and under "Actions," click on "Update Transit/Parking Elections."

Enter how much you want to set aside each month for transit and/or parking. For example, if your monthly subway expense is $121, put aside $121 per month.

Note: Changes made on or before the 20th of the month, will be effective the first of the following month. A change made after the 20th of the month will be effective the first of the second month following the change date. For example, a change made on January 20 will be effective February 1, but a change made January 21 will be effective March 1. Changes you make during annual Open Enrollment are effective January 1 of the following year. 

Once enrolled, the University’s contracted administrator, EBPA, will mail you a debit card that you can use to pay for these qualified expenses. If you commute by subway, use this debit card to refill your MTA MetroCard at the station.

Unused funds carry over from month to month in your EBPA account, as well as from year to year. 

Note: If you park in a Columbia parking space, your contributions will already be taken out of your paycheck on a pre-tax basis.

Read more from the IRS.