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Publication 15-B
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193770

3. Fringe Benefit Valuation Rules(p22)

rule
This section discusses the rules you must use to determine the value of a fringe benefit you provide to an employee. You must determine the value of any benefit you cannot exclude under the rules in section 2 or for which the amount you can exclude is limited. See Including taxable benefits in pay in section 1.
In most cases, you must use the general valuation rule to value a fringe benefit. However, you may be able to use a special valuation rule to determine the value of certain benefits.
This section does not discuss the special valuation rule used to value meals provided at an employer-operated eating facility for employees. For that rule, see Regulations section 1.61-21(j). This section also does not discuss the special valuation rules used to value the use of aircraft. For those rules, see Regulations sections 1.61-21(g) and (h). The fringe benefit valuation formulas are published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin as Revenue Rulings twice during the year. The formula applicable for the first half of the year is usually available at the end of March. The formula applicable for the second half of the year is usually available at the end of September.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193771

General Valuation Rule(p22)

rule
You must use the general valuation rule to determine the value of most fringe benefits. Under this rule, the value of a fringe benefit is its fair market value.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193772

Fair market value.(p22)

rule
The fair market value (FMV) of a fringe benefit is the amount an employee would have to pay a third party in an arm's-length transaction to buy or lease the benefit. Determine this amount on the basis of all the facts and circumstances.
Neither the amount the employee considers to be the value of the fringe benefit nor the cost you incur to provide the benefit determines its FMV.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193773

Employer-provided vehicles.(p22)

rule
In general, the FMV of an employer-provided vehicle is the amount the employee would have to pay a third party to lease the same or similar vehicle on the same or comparable terms in the geographic area where the employee uses the vehicle. A comparable lease term would be the amount of time the vehicle is available for the employee's use, such as a 1-year period.
Do not determine the FMV by multiplying a cents-per-mile rate times the number of miles driven unless the employee can prove the vehicle could have been leased on a cents-per-mile basis.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193774

Cents-Per-Mile Rule(p22)

rule
Under this rule, you determine the value of a vehicle you provide to an employee for personal use by multiplying the standard mileage rate by the total miles the employee drives the vehicle for personal purposes. Personal use is any use of the vehicle other than use in your trade or business. This amount must be included in the employee's wages or reimbursed by the employee. For 2013, the standard mileage rate is 56.5 cents per mile.
You can use the cents-per-mile rule if either of the following requirements is met.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193775

(p22)

rule
EIC
Maximum automobile value. You cannot use the cents-per-mile rule for an automobile (any four-wheeled vehicle, such as a car, pickup truck, or van) if its value when you first make it available to any employee for personal use is more than an amount determined by the IRS as the maximum automobile value for the year. For example, you cannot use the cents-per-mile rule for an automobile that you first made available to an employee in 2012 if its value at that time exceeded $15,900 for a passenger automobile or $16,700 for a truck or van. The maximum automobile value for 2013 will be published in a revenue procedure in the Internal Revenue Bulletin early in 2013. If you and the employee own or lease the automobile together, see Regulations section 1.61-21(e)(1)(iii)(B).
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193777

Vehicle.(p22)

rule
For the cents-per-mile rule, a vehicle is any motorized wheeled vehicle, including an automobile, manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193778

Regular use in your trade or business.(p23)

rule
A vehicle is regularly used in your trade or business if at least one of the following conditions is met.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193779

Mileage test.(p23)

rule
A vehicle meets the mileage test for a calendar year if both of the following requirements are met.
For example, if only one employee uses a vehicle during the calendar year and that employee drives the vehicle at least 10,000 miles in that year, the vehicle meets the mileage test even if all miles driven by the employee are personal.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193780

Consistency requirements.(p23)

rule
If you use the cents-per-mile rule, the following requirements apply.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193781

Items included in cents-per-mile rate.(p23)

rule
The cents-per-mile rate includes the value of maintenance and insurance for the vehicle. Do not reduce the rate by the value of any service included in the rate that you did not provide. You can take into account the services actually provided for the vehicle by using the General Valuation Rule, earlier.
For miles driven in the United States, its territories and possessions, Canada, and Mexico, the cents-per-mile rate includes the value of fuel you provide. If you do not provide fuel, you can reduce the rate by no more than 5.5 cents.
For special rules that apply to fuel you provide for miles driven outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, see Regulations section 1.61-21(e)(3)(ii)(B).
The value of any other service you provide for a vehicle is not included in the cents-per-mile rate. Use the general valuation rule to value these services.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193782

Commuting Rule(p23)

rule
Under this rule, you determine the value of a vehicle you provide to an employee for commuting use by multiplying each one-way commute (that is, from home to work or from work to home) by $1.50. If more than one employee commutes in the vehicle, this value applies to each employee. This amount must be included in the employee's wages or reimbursed by the employee.
You can use the commuting rule if all the following requirements are met.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193783

Vehicle.(p23)

rule
For this rule, a vehicle is any motorized wheeled vehicle, including an automobile manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193784

Control employee.(p24)

rule
A control employee of a nongovernment employer for 2013 is generally any of the following employees.
A control employee for a government employer for 2013 is either of the following.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193785
Highly compensated employee alternative.(p24)
Instead of using the preceding definition, you can choose to define a control employee as any highly compensated employee. A highly compensated employee for 2013 is an employee who meets either of the following tests.
  1. The employee was a 5% owner at any time during the year or the preceding year.
  2. The employee received more than $115,000 in pay for the preceding year.
You can choose to ignore test (2) if the employee was not also in the top 20% of employees when ranked by pay for the preceding year.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193786

Lease Value Rule(p24)

rule
Under this rule, you determine the value of an automobile you provide to an employee by using its annual lease value. For an automobile provided only part of the year, use either its prorated annual lease value or its daily lease value.
If the automobile is used by the employee in your business, you generally reduce the lease value by the amount that is excluded from the employee's wages as a working condition benefit. In order to do this, the employee must account to the employer for the business use. This is done by substantiating the usage (mileage, for example), the time and place of the travel, and the business purpose of the travel. Written records made at the time of each business use are the best evidence. Any use of a company-provided vehicle that is not substantiated as business use is included in income. The working condition benefit is the amount that would be an allowable business expense deduction for the employee if the employee paid for the use of the vehicle. However, you can choose to include the entire lease value in the employee's wages. See Vehicle allocation rules, under Working Condition Benefit in section 2.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193787

Automobile.(p24)

rule
For this rule, an automobile is any four-wheeled vehicle (such as a car, pickup truck, or van) manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193788

Consistency requirements.(p24)

rule
If you use the lease value rule, the following requirements apply.
  1. You must begin using this rule on the first day you make the automobile available to any employee for personal use. However, the following exceptions apply.
    1. If you use the commuting rule (discussed earlier in this section) when you first make the automobile available to any employee for personal use, you can change to the lease value rule on the first day for which you do not use the commuting rule.
    2. If you use the cents-per-mile rule (discussed earlier in this section) when you first make the automobile available to any employee for personal use, you can change to the lease value rule on the first day on which the automobile no longer qualifies for the cents-per-mile rule.
  2. You must use this rule for all later years in which you make the automobile available to any employee, except that you can use the commuting rule for any year during which use of the automobile qualifies.
  3. You must continue to use this rule if you provide a replacement automobile to the employee and your primary reason for the replacement is to reduce federal taxes.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193789

Annual Lease Value(p24)

rule
Generally, you figure the annual lease value of an automobile as follows.
  1. Determine the fair market value (FMV) of the automobile on the first date it is available to any employee for personal use.
  2. Using Table 3-1. Annual Lease Value Table, read down column (1) until you come to the dollar range within which the FMV of the automobile falls. Then read across to column (2) to find the annual lease value.
  3. Multiply the annual lease value by the percentage of personal miles out of total miles driven by the employee.

Table 3-1. Annual Lease Value Table

(1) Automobile FMV(2) Annual Lease
$ 0 to 999$   600
 1,000 to 1,999850
 2,000 to 2,9991,100
 3,000 to 3,9991,350
 4,000 to 4,9991,600
 5,000 to 5,9991,850
 6,000 to 6,9992,100
 7,000 to 7,9992,350
 8,000 to 8,9992,600
 9,000 to 9,9992,850
 10,000 to 10,9993,100
 11,000 to 11,9993,350
 12,000 to 12,9993,600
 13,000 to 13,9993,850
 14,000 to 14,9994,100
 15,000 to 15,9994,350
 16,000 to 16,9994,600
 17,000 to 17,9994,850
 18,000 to 18,9995,100
 19,000 to 19,9995,350
 20,000 to 20,9995,600
 21,000 to 21,9995,850
 22,000 to 22,9996,100
 23,000 to 23,9996,350
 24,000 to 24,9996,600
 25,000 to 25,9996,850
 26,000 to 27,9997,250
 28,000 to 29,9997,750
 30,000 to 31,9998,250
 32,000 to 33,9998,750
 34,000 to 35,9999,250
 36,000 to 37,9999,750
 38,000 to 39,99910,250
 40,000 to 41,99910,750
 42,000 to 43,99911,250
 44,000 to 45,99911,750
 46,000 to 47,99912,250
 48,000 to 49,99912,750
 50,000 to 51,99913,250
 52,000 to 53,99913,750
 54,000 to 55,99914,250
 56,000 to 57,99914,750
 58,000 to 59,99915,250
For automobiles with a FMV of more than $59,999, the annual lease value equals (.25 × the FMV of the automobile) + $500.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193791

FMV.(p25)

rule
The FMV of an automobile is the amount a person would pay to buy it from a third party in an arm's-length transaction in the area in which the automobile is bought or leased. That amount includes all purchase expenses, such as sales tax and title fees.
If you have 20 or more automobiles, see Regulations section 1.61-21(d)(5)(v). If you and the employee own or lease the automobile together, see Regulations section 1.61-21(d)(2)(ii).
You do not have to include the value of a telephone or any specialized equipment added to, or carried in, the automobile if the equipment is necessary for your business. However, include the value of specialized equipment if the employee to whom the automobile is available uses the specialized equipment in a trade or business other than yours.
Neither the amount the employee considers to be the value of the benefit nor your cost for either buying or leasing the automobile determines its FMV. However, see Safe-harbor value, next.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193792
Safe-harbor value.(p25)
You may be able to use a safe-harbor value as the FMV.
For an automobile you bought at arm's length, the safe-harbor value is your cost, including sales tax, title, and other purchase expenses. You cannot have been the manufacturer of the automobile.
For an automobile you lease, you can use any of the following as the safe-harbor value.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193793

Items included in annual lease value table.(p25)

rule
Each annual lease value in the table includes the value of maintenance and insurance for the automobile. Do not reduce the annual lease value by the value of any of these services that you did not provide. For example, do not reduce the annual lease value by the value of a maintenance service contract or insurance you did not provide. You can take into account the services actually provided for the automobile by using the general valuation rule discussed earlier.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193794
Items not included.(p25)
The annual lease value does not include the value of fuel you provide to an employee for personal use, regardless of whether you provide it, reimburse its cost, or have it charged to you. You must include the value of the fuel separately in the employee's wages. You can value fuel you provided at FMV or at 5.5 cents per mile for all miles driven by the employee. However, you cannot value at 5.5 cents per mile fuel you provide for miles driven outside the United States (including its possessions and territories), Canada, and Mexico.
If you reimburse an employee for the cost of fuel, or have it charged to you, you generally value the fuel at the amount you reimburse, or the amount charged to you if it was bought at arm's length.
If you have 20 or more automobiles, see Regulations section 1.61-21(d)(3)(ii)(D).
If you provide any service other than maintenance and insurance for an automobile, you must add the FMV of that service to the annual lease value of the automobile to figure the value of the benefit.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193795

4-year lease term.(p25)

rule
The annual lease values in the table are based on a 4-year lease term. These values will generally stay the same for the period that begins with the first date you use this rule for the automobile and ends on December 31 of the fourth full calendar year following that date.
Figure the annual lease value for each later 4-year period by determining the FMV of the automobile on January 1 of the first year of the later 4-year period and selecting the amount in column (2) of the table that corresponds to the appropriate dollar range in column (1).
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193796
Using the special accounting rule.(p26)
If you use the special accounting rule for fringe benefits discussed in section 4, you can figure the annual lease value for each later 4-year period at the beginning of the special accounting period that starts immediately before the January 1 date described in the previous paragraph.
For example, assume that you use the special accounting rule and that, beginning on November 1, 2012, the special accounting period is November 1 to October 31. You elected to use the lease value rule as of January 1, 2013. You can refigure the annual lease value on November 1, 2016, rather than on January 1, 2017.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193797

Transferring an automobile from one employee to another.(p26)

rule
Unless the primary purpose of the transfer is to reduce federal taxes, you can refigure the annual lease value based on the FMV of the automobile on January 1 of the calendar year of transfer.
However, if you use the special accounting rule for fringe benefits discussed in section 4, you can refigure the annual lease value (based on the FMV of the automobile) at the beginning of the special accounting period in which the transfer occurs.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193798

Prorated Annual Lease Value(p26)

rule
If you provide an automobile to an employee for a continuous period of 30 or more days but less than an entire calendar year, you can prorate the annual lease value. Figure the prorated annual lease value by multiplying the annual lease value by a fraction, using the number of days of availability as the numerator and 365 as the denominator.
If you provide an automobile continuously for at least 30 days, but the period covers 2 calendar years (or 2 special accounting periods if you are using the special accounting rule for fringe benefits discussed in section 4), you can use the prorated annual lease value or the daily lease value.
If you have 20 or more automobiles, see Regulations section 1.61-21(d)(6).
If an automobile is unavailable to the employee because of his or her personal reasons (for example, if the employee is on vacation), you cannot take into account the periods of unavailability when you use a prorated annual lease value.
EIC
You cannot use a prorated annual lease value if the reduction of federal tax is the main reason the automobile is unavailable.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193800

Daily Lease Value(p26)

rule
If you provide an automobile to an employee for a continuous period of less than 30 days, use the daily lease value to figure its value. Figure the daily lease value by multiplying the annual lease value by a fraction, using four times the number of days of availability as the numerator and 365 as the denominator.
However, you can apply a prorated annual lease value for a period of continuous availability of less than 30 days by treating the automobile as if it had been available for 30 days. Use a prorated annual lease value if it would result in a lower valuation than applying the daily lease value to the shorter period of availability.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193801

Unsafe Conditions Commuting Rule(p26)

rule
Under this rule, the value of commuting transportation you provide to a qualified employee solely because of unsafe conditions is $1.50 for a one-way commute (that is, from home to work or from work to home). This amount must be included in the employee's wages or reimbursed by the employee.
You can use the unsafe conditions commuting rule for qualified employees if all of the following requirements are met. These requirements must be met on a trip-by-trip basis.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193802

Commuting transportation.(p26)

rule
This is transportation to or from work using any motorized wheeled vehicle (including an automobile) manufactured for use on public streets, roads, and highways. You or the employee must buy the transportation from a party that is not related to you. If the employee buys it, you must reimburse the employee for its cost (for example, cab fare) under a bona fide reimbursement arrangement.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193803

Qualified employee.(p26)

rule
A qualified employee for 2013 is one who: However, an employee is not considered a qualified employee if you do not comply with the recordkeeping requirements concerning the employee's wages, hours, and other conditions and practices of employment under section 211(c) of FLSA and the related regulations.
taxmap/pubs/p15b-002.htm#en_us_publink1000193804

Unsafe conditions.(p27)

rule
Unsafe conditions exist if, under the facts and circumstances, a reasonable person would consider it unsafe for the employee to walk or use public transportation at the time of day the employee must commute. One factor indicating whether it is unsafe is the history of crime in the geographic area surrounding the employee's workplace or home at the time of day the employee commutes.