Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Parking Taxes? Maybe Don't Ask

Free parking and no taxation worries back in the 1930s
The federal tax law passed in Dec. 2017 contained a feature about nonprofits having to pay a tax on subsidized parking under certain conditions, notably if fewer than half of the spaces are for the public as opposed to employees. Lots of interesting questions about UCLA. Is parking subsidized compared to commercial Westwood rates? Are students part of the "public" or are they "customers"? Here is what Inside Higher Ed says:

...In December (2018), interim guidance addressed some key questions about parking and transportation benefits and costs that are being taxed as unrelated business income. Taxed parking benefits have received particular attention after reports emerged last year that churches and other tax-exempt organizations would have to pay a 21 percent tax on such fringe benefits to employees.

Notable among the new guidance were steps employers can use toward measuring employee parking expenses at lots colleges and universities own or lease. The first is determining the number of spots reserved for employees as a percentage of total parking spaces, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. That percentage is considered for unrelated business income that is taxable.

The second step is to count the remaining spots. If more than half of spots can be used by the public, none of the parking facility's expenses are taxable income. The third step is to count spots reserved for customers and other nonemployees, which are also not taxable...

Full story at

Yours truly has some non-expert advice: Don't ask; don't tell.

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