Are vehicle allowances reportable compensation?

(1)(a) A vehicle allowance is not reportable compensation if it is received in lieu of expenses you incur or expect to incur in using your own vehicle for business purposes.
(b) A vehicle allowance qualifies as reportable compensation to the extent that it exceeds your actual expenses. For instance, if you receive both a vehicle allowance and separate reimbursements for vehicle expenses each time you use a privately owned vehicle for business purposes, the vehicle allowance is reportable compensation.
(2) To prove that your vehicle allowance exceeded your actual expenses, your employer must maintain ongoing monthly records, documenting:
(a) The dates, if any, on which you used a privately owned vehicle in performing services for your employer;
(b) The miles you drove the vehicle on each of these trips;
(c) Your itinerary for each of these trips; and
(d) The amount of the allowance less the actual expenses, using IRS methodology. Under the IRS methodology, your actual expenses are the miles you drove multiplied by the IRS rate.
(i) The miles you drove are the number of miles you drove a privately owned vehicle for business purposes during the month.
(ii) "IRS rate" means the Internal Revenue Service mileage rate for use by taxpayers computing the value of the use of a vehicle.
(3) If a vehicle allowance exceeds actual expenses, your employer must report the excess, calculated in subsection (2)(d) of this section.
(4) If any part of a vehicle allowance is included in the calculation of your retirement allowance, your employer will be billed for excess compensation under RCW 41.50.150.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5), 41.50.150 and IRS regulations. WSR 08-02-046, ยง 415-106-330, filed 12/27/07, effective 1/27/08.]
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