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Other fringe benefits — Benefits

This chapter provides an overview of some fringe benefits that are not among the benefits that can trigger coverage under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and are not discussed elsewhere in this book. Generally, a fringe benefit is a form of non-cash compensation paid to an employee. Fringe benefits provided to employees are taxable unless there is a specifically applicable income tax exclusion. If taxable, the fringe benefits discussed are wages reportable on Form W-2 and are subject to withholding.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated or significantly curtailed the favorable tax treatment previously enjoyed for years under many common fringe benefit programs. The following sections describe some of the more common excludable fringe benefits that might be provided by the typical employer. The list is not exhaustive. Among other things, benefits that could be offered only by employers engaged in a particular line of business (such as reduced tuition for dependents of college and university faculty members) have been omitted.

De minimis fringe benefits

A “de minimis" fringe benefit is an item of property or a service of so little value it is impractical or unreasonable to account for the...

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