H.R. 3271 (111th): Green Routes to Work Act

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Jul 21, 2009 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3271

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 21, 2009

(for himself, Mr. Kirk, and Mr. McGovern) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve commuting and transportation options.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Green Routes to Work Act.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Increased uniform dollar limitation for all types of transportation fringe benefits.

Sec. 3. Clarification of Federal employee benefits.

Sec. 4. Eligibility of self-employed individuals to receive transit fringe benefits.

Sec. 5. Parking cash-out programs.

Sec. 6. Vanpool investment credit.

Sec. 7. Refundable employer credit for providing tax-free transit passes to employees.

Sec. 8. Expenditures to provide bicycle access.

Sec. 9. Employees may receive transit passes and reimbursement of bicycle commuting expenses as excludable fringe benefits for the same month.

Sec. 10. Deduction for expenditures to remove architectural and transportation barriers to bicycle access.

Sec. 11. Credit for teleworking.

2.

Increased uniform dollar limitation for all types of transportation fringe benefits

(a)

In general

Paragraph (2) of section 132(f) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to limitation on exclusion) is amended—

(1)

by striking $100 in subparagraph (A) and inserting $230, and

(2)

by striking $175 in subparagraph (B) and inserting $230.

(b)

Inflation adjustment conforming amendments

Subparagraph (A) of section 132(f)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to inflation adjustment) is amended—

(1)

by striking the last sentence,

(2)

by striking 1999 and inserting 2010, and

(3)

by striking 1998 and inserting 2009.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2009.

3.

Clarification of Federal employee benefits

Section 7905 of title 5, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in paragraph (2)(C) by inserting and after the semicolon;

(B)

in paragraph (3) by striking ; and and inserting a period; and

(C)

by striking paragraph (4); and

(2)

in subsection (b)(2)(A) by amending subparagraph (A) to read as follows:

(A)

qualified transportation fringe as defined in section 132(f)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

.

4.

Eligibility of self-employed individuals to receive transit fringe benefits

(a)

In general

Subparagraph (E) of section 132(f)(5) is amended—

(1)

by striking For purposes of this subsection, the term and inserting the following:

(i)

In general

Except as provided in clause (ii), the term

, and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new clause:

(ii)

Self-employed individuals eligible for transit pass fringe benefit

For purposes of paragraph (1)(B), such term includes an individual who is an employee within the meaning of section 401(c)(1).

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2009.

5.

Parking cash-out programs

(a)

In general

Subparagraph (C) of section 132(f)(5) is amended—

(1)

by striking The term and inserting the following:

(i)

In general

The term

.

(2)

by adding at the end of clause (i), as amended by paragraph (1), the following: Such term shall not include any parking with respect to any specified employer unless such employer establishes a parking cash-out program., and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new clauses:

(ii)

Specified employer

For purposes of this subparagraph, the term specified employer means any employer who—

(I)

employs on average 50 or more employees during the calendar year,

(II)

leases the parking facilities referred to in clause (i),

(III)

can separately determine the amount paid per parking space leased, and

(IV)

can reduce the number of parking space leased (on a basis not less frequently than monthly) without penalty.

(iii)

Parking cash-out program

For purposes of this subparagraph, the term parking cash-out program means a program established by the employer under which—

(I)

the employer offers employees a cash allowance equal to the regular amount paid by the employer for parking for a single employee under clause (i) in lieu of the parking referred to in clause (i), and

(II)

any employee electing the cash allowance shall certify to the employer that the employee will comply with guidelines established by the employer to avoid neighborhood parking problems and violation of such guidelines are enforced by the employer by termination of eligibility of such employee for such cash allowance and employer sponsored parking.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to parking provided during calendar years beginning after December 31, 2009.

6.

Vanpool investment credit

(a)

In general

Subpart D of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

45R.

Qualifying vanpool investment credit

(a)

General rule

For purposes of section 38, the qualifying vanpool investment credit for any taxable year is an amount equal to 10 percent of the basis of a qualified commuter van placed in service by the taxpayer during the taxable year.

(b)

Qualified commuter van

For purposes of this section, the term qualified commuter van means a vehicle—

(1)

the seating capacity of which is at least 8, but not more than 15, adults (not including the driver),

(2)

which has a 3-year class life,

(3)

at least 80 percent of the mileage use of which can reasonably be expected to be for transportation described in section 132(f)(1)(A),

(4)

with respect to which depreciation (or amortization in lieu of depreciation) is allowable, and

(5)

is originally placed in service by the taxpayer before January 1, 2013.

(c)

Contracting for services exception

(1)

In general

In the case of an employer who contracts with an unrelated person for the provision of transportation described in section 132(f)(1)(A) and who makes an election under this subsection for a taxable year (in such form and manner as the Secretary may by regulation prescribe), in lieu of the amount determined under subsection (a), the qualifying vanpool investment credit with respect to the taxpayer for the taxable year shall be an amount equal to 10 percent of the amounts paid or incurred by the employer for the taxable year pursuant to such contract for the provision of such transportation.

(2)

Related persons

All persons treated as a single employer under subsection (a) or (b) of section 52 shall be treated as related persons for purposes of this subsection.

(3)

Termination

This subsection shall not apply to any amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2012.

(d)

Basis reduction

For purposes of this subtitle, the basis of any property for which a credit is allowable under subsection (a) shall be reduced by the amount of such credit.

.

(b)

Credit treated as part of general business credit

Section 38(b) of such Code is amended by striking plus at the end of paragraph (34), by striking the period at the end of paragraph (35) and inserting , plus, and by adding at the end of following new paragraph:

(36)

the qualifying vanpool investment credit determined under section 45R(a).

.

(c)

Conforming amendment

Subsection (a) of section 1016 of such Code is amended by striking and at the end of paragraph (36), by striking the period at the end of paragraph (37) and inserting , and, and by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(38)

to the extent provided in section 45R(e), in the case of amounts with respect to which a credit has been allowed under section 45R.

(d)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections for subpart D of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of such Code is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

Sec. 45R. Qualifying vanpool investment credit.

.

(e)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to property placed in service, and amounts paid or incurred, after December 31, 2009.

7.

Refundable employer credit for providing tax-free transit passes to employees

(a)

In General

Subpart C of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to refundable credits) is amended by inserting after section 36A the following new section:

36B.

Employers providing tax-free transit passes to employees

(a)

In General

In the case of an employer, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this subtitle for the taxable year an amount equal to 50 percent of the amount paid or incurred by the taxpayer during the taxable year—

(1)

for transit passes provided to employees of such employer, and

(2)

as cash reimbursements made to such employees for transit passes purchased by such employees.

(b)

Limitation to Tax-Free Transit Passes

Subsection (a) shall apply to a transit pass (or reimbursement) provided to an employee only to the extent that the employer reasonably expects that the value of such pass (or the amount of such reimbursement) is excludable from such employee’s income under section 132.

(c)

Exclusion of Nontaxpayers

Subsection (a) shall not apply to any employer which is exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter with respect to the activity in which the employee is performing services for the employer.

(d)

Definitions

Terms used in this section shall have the respective meanings given such terms by section 132.

.

(b)

Denial of Double Benefit

Section 280C of such Code is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(g)

Employer Credit for Providing Tax-Free Transit Passes to Employees

No deduction shall be allowed for that portion of the expenses (otherwise allowable as a deduction) taken into account in determining the credit under section 36B for the taxable year which is equal to the amount of the credit allowable for such taxable year under section 36B(a).

.

(c)

Clerical Amendment

The table of sections for such subpart C is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 36A the following new item:

36B. Employers providing tax-free transit passes to employees.

.

(d)

Effective Date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to transit passes provided after the date of the enactment of this Act.

8.

Expenditures to provide bicycle access

(a)

In general

Subpart D of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended by this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

45S.

Expenditures to provide bicycle access

(a)

In general

For purposes of section 38, the amount of the bicycle access credit determined under this section for any taxable year shall be an amount equal to 50 percent of so much of the eligible bicycle access expenditures for the taxable year as exceed $250 but do not exceed $10,250.

(b)

Definitions

For purposes of this section—

(1)

Eligible bicycle access expenditures

(A)

In general

The term eligible bicycle access expenditures means amounts paid or incurred for the purpose of improving access, security, or convenience with respect to bicycle travel to or from a business of the taxpayer.

(B)

Expenditures must be reasonable

Amounts paid or incurred for the purposes described in subparagraph (A) shall include only expenditures which are reasonable and shall not include expenditures which are unnecessary to accomplish such purposes.

(C)

Expenses in connection with new construction not eligible

The term eligible bicycle access expenditures shall not include amounts which are paid or incurred in connection with any facility first placed in service after the date of the enactment of this section.

(2)

Eligible small business

For purposes of this section, the term eligible small business shall have the meaning given such term by section 44(b).

(c)

Special rules

Rules similar to the rules of paragraphs (2), (3), (4), (6), and (7) of section 44(d) shall apply for purposes of this section.

(d)

Regulations

The Secretary shall prescribe regulations necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

.

(b)

Conforming amendments

(1)

Subsection (b) of section 38 of such Code, as amended by this Act, is amended by striking plus at the end of paragraph (35), by striking the period at the end of paragraph (36) and inserting , plus, and by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(37)

the bicycle access credit determined under section 45S(a).

.

(2)

The table of sections for subpart D of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of such Code is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

45S. Expenditures to provide bicycle access.

.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.

9.

Employees may receive transit passes and reimbursement of bicycle commuting expenses as excludable fringe benefits for the same month

(a)

In general

Subclause (II) of section 132(f)(5)(F)(iii) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (defining qualified bicycling month) is amended by striking , (B),.

(b)

Limitation

Subparagraph (A) of section 132(f)(2) of such Code (relating to limitation on exclusions) is amended by striking and (B) and inserting , (B), and (D).

(c)

Repeal of constructive receipt treatment of bicycle commuting reimbursements

Paragraph (4) of section 132(f) of such Code is amended by striking (other than a qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement).

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2008.

10.

Deduction for expenditures to remove architectural and transportation barriers to bicycle access

(a)

In general

Part VI of subchapter B of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting after section 190 the following new section:

190A.

Expenditures to remove architectural and transportation barrier to bicycle access

(a)

In general

A taxpayer may elect (at such time and in such manner as the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe) to treat architectural and transportation barrier removal expenses of the taxpayer for the taxable year as expenses which are not chargeable to capital account. The expenditures so treated shall be allowed as a deduction.

(b)

Architectural and transportation barrier removal expenses

For purposes of this section, the term architectural and transportation barrier removal expenses means amounts paid or incurred for the purpose of making any facility or public transportation vehicle owned or leased by the taxpayer for use in connection with his trade or business more secure, accessible to, and convenient for use by individuals traveling by bicycle.

(c)

Limitation

The deduction allowed by subsection (a) for any taxable year shall not exceed $15,000.

.

(b)

Conforming amendments

(1)

Paragraph (1) of section 263(a) of such Code is amended by striking or at the end of subparagraph (K), by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (L) and inserting , or, and by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(M)

expenditures for which a deduction is allowed under section 190A.

.

(2)

Section 1245(a)(2)(C) of such Code is amended by inserting 190A, after 190,.

(3)

The table of sections for part VI of subchapter B of chapter 1 of such Code is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 190 the following new item:

Sec. 190A. Expenditures to remove architectural and transportation barrier to bicycle access.

.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.

11.

Credit for teleworking

(a)

In General

Subpart B of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to foreign tax credit, etc.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

30E.

Telework credit

(a)

Allowance of Credit

In the case of an eligible taxpayer, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter for the taxable year an amount equal to the qualified teleworking expenses paid or incurred by the taxpayer during such year.

(b)

Maximum Credit

(1)

Per teleworker limitation

The credit allowed by subsection (a) for a taxable year with respect to qualified teleworking expenses paid or incurred by or on behalf of an individual teleworker shall not exceed $400.

(2)

Reduction for teleworking less than full year

In the case of an individual who is in a teleworking arrangement for less than a full taxable year, the amount referred to paragraph (1) shall be reduced by an amount which bears the same ratio to $400 as the number of months in which such individual is not in a teleworking arrangement bears to 12. For purposes of the preceding sentence, an individual shall be treated as being in a teleworking arrangement for a month if the individual is subject to such arrangement for any day of such month.

(c)

Definitions

For purposes of this section—

(1)

Eligible taxpayer

The term eligible taxpayer means—

(A)

in the case of an individual, an individual who performs services for an employer under a teleworking arrangement, or

(B)

in the case of an employer, an employer for whom employees perform services under a teleworking arrangement.

(2)

Teleworking arrangement

The term teleworking arrangement means an arrangement under which an employee teleworks for an employer at least 1 day per week.

(3)

Qualified teleworking expenses

The term qualified teleworking expenses means expenses paid or incurred under a teleworking arrangement—

(A)

for purchase or installation of any electronic information or telecommunication equipment which is used to enable an individual to telework, or

(B)

for any telecommunications service, or Internet access (or related services), relating to the use of such equipment.

(4)

Telework

The term telework means to perform work functions, using electronic information and communication technologies, thereby reducing or eliminating the physical commute to and from the traditional worksite.

(d)

Limitation Based on Amount of Tax

(1)

Liability for tax

The credit allowable under subsection (a) for any taxable year shall not exceed the excess (if any) of—

(A)

the regular tax for the taxable year, reduced by the sum of the credits allowable under subpart A and the preceding sections of this subpart, over

(B)

the tentative minimum tax for the taxable year.

(2)

Carryforward of unused credit

If the amount of the credit allowable under subsection (a) for any taxable year exceeds the limitation under paragraph (1) for the taxable year, the excess shall be carried to the succeeding taxable year and added to the amount allowable as a credit under subsection (a) for such succeeding taxable year.

(e)

Special Rules

(1)

Basis reduction

For purposes of this subtitle, the basis of any property for which a credit is allowable under subsection (a) shall be reduced by the amount of such credit (determined without regard to subsection (d)).

(2)

Recapture

The Secretary shall, by regulations, provide for recapturing the benefit of any credit allowable under subsection (a) with respect to any property which ceases to be property eligible for such credit.

(3)

Property used outside United States, etc., not qualified

No credit shall be allowed under subsection (a) with respect to any property referred to in section 50(b) or with respect to the portion of the cost of any property taken into account under section 179.

(4)

Election not to take credit

No credit shall be allowed under subsection (a) for any expense if the taxpayer elects to have this section not apply with respect to such expense.

(5)

Denial of double benefit

No deduction or credit (other than under this section) shall be allowed under this chapter with respect to any expense which is taken into account in determining the credit under this section.

(f)

Reporting requirement

(1)

In general

In the case of an eligible taxpayer who is an employer, no credit shall be allowed under this section for qualified teleworking expenses of the employer with respect to such employer’s employees unless the taxpayer submits to the Secretary (in such form and manner as the Secretary may prescribe)—

(A)

the survey described in paragraph (2), and

(B)

a detailed description of the teleworking policies of the employer, including a description of—

(i)

which employees of the employer are eligible to telework,

(ii)

any employer goals relating to teleworking, and any progress with respect to such goals, and

(iii)

any materials or resources of the employer intended to promote or enable teleworking.

(2)

Call for Telework Data Survey

The Secretary shall, in consultation with the Office of Personnel Management, establish, make publicly available to taxpayers, and update as appropriate, a survey designed to track teleworking trends among employers allowed credits under this section.

(3)

Report to Congress

Not later than October 15 of each calendar year, the Secretary shall submit to the Congress, and make publicly available on the Internet and at the offices of the Internal Revenue Service, a report, which shall include a summary of the information contained in the submissions under paragraph (1) for taxable years ending in the previous calendar year.

.

(b)

Conforming Amendment

Subsection (a) of section 1016 of such Code, as amended by this Act, is amended by striking and at the end of paragraph (37), by striking the period at the end of paragraph (38) and inserting , and, and by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(39)

to the extent provided in section 30E(e), in the case of amounts with respect to which a credit has been allowed under section 30E.

(c)

Clerical Amendment

The table of sections for subpart B of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of such Code is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

Sec. 30E. Telework credit.

.

(d)

Effective Date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2009.