#HR Trends and Insights | Money Savings

Beyond Payroll: Tax-Deductible Employee Benefits for 2024

February 22, 2024

In the complex world of employee benefits—both legally required and fringe benefits—understanding the tax implications is crucial for employers and employees.

Leveraging employee benefits and fringe benefits not only helps reduce business expenses but can also attract, engage, and retain talent and contribute to the financial well-being of the workforce.

The additions to employee pay are a great way to enhance the total compensation offering while reducing the employee benefits cost overall.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 9 employee benefits programs and how they work for employees and employers alike.

1. Health Insurance Premiums

Health insurance is a fundamental employee benefit, and the premiums paid by employers are typically tax-deductible.

This includes medical, dental, and vision insurance.

Offering comprehensive health insurance benefits coverage to every eligible employee not only attracts top talent and private industry workers but also comes with tax advantages for businesses.

Benefits to Employers

  • Tax deductions on health insurance premiums reduce the overall costof providing health benefits.

By reducing taxable income, businesses can allocate more resources to employee benefits without a significant impact on their bottom line.

  • Attraction and retention of employees due to competitive and tax-advantaged health benefits.

Offering robust health coverage enhances the overall compensation package, making the company more appealing to potential hires and increasing employee loyalty.

Benefits to Employees

  • Access to quality health coverage with the employer sharing the financial burden.

Employees benefit from comprehensive health plans, reducing out-of-pocket expenses and ensuring access to essential medical services. The average cost of employee benefits varies based          on the plan chosen.

  • Potential tax advantages if employees contribute to premiums through pre-tax deductions.

Pre-tax contributions lower employees’ taxable income, offering them potential tax savings.

2. Retirement Plan Contributions

Contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, are tax-deductible.

This benefit not only helps employees save for the future but also provides businesses with a valuable tax incentive.

Benefits to Employers

  • Tax deductions on employer contributions to retirement plans reduce taxable income.

Employers can allocate funds toward retirement benefits while lowering their taxable liability, fostering a positive financial outlook.

  • Attraction and retention of employees with competitive retirement benefits.

Offering robust retirement plans makes the company more attractive to skilled professionals and encourages current employees to stay for the long term.

Benefits to Employees

  • Opportunity fortax-deferred growth on retirement savings.

Employees can watch their retirement savings grow tax-free until withdrawal, providing a powerful incentive for long-term participation.

  • Employer contributionsenhance overall retirement savings.

Matching contributions or employer contributions directly increases the retirement nest egg for employees.

3. Life and Disability Insurance Premiums

Premiums for group life and disability insurance coverage are generally tax-deductible for employers.

Providing financial protection for employees and their families can be both a compassionate gesture and a strategic tax move.

The cost of employee benefits varies depending on income taxes, the size of the business, and the chosen coverage.

Benefits to Employers

  • Tax deductions on disability and life insurance premiums contribute to cost savings.

Lowering the cost of insurance premiums makes it more feasible for businesses to provide comprehensive coverage, fostering employee well-being.

  • Enhancedemployee well-being and loyalty through comprehensive insurance coverage.

Offering life and disability insurance demonstrates a commitment to the overall well-being of employees, fostering a positive work environment.

Benefits to Employees

  • Financial security for beneficiaries in the event of the employee’s death or disability.

Employees gain peace of mind knowing their loved ones are financially protected in unforeseen circumstances.

  • Potential tax-free status on life insurance benefits for beneficiaries.

Life insurance benefits are typically tax-free for beneficiaries, providing them with a tax-efficient financial resource.

4. Education Assistance Programs

Employer-sponsored education assistance programs, including tuition reimbursement, can be tax-deductible.

Encouraging employees to further their education not only benefits them but can also yield tax advantages for the business owner or employer.

Benefits to Employers

  • Tax deductions on education assistance programs promote askilled and educated workforce.

Supporting employees’ education demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and ensures a competitive, knowledgeable workforce.

  • Attraction and retention of employees seeking professional development opportunities.

Offering educational assistance makes the company more appealing to individuals seeking to advance their skills and careers.

Benefits to Employees

  • Financial support for pursuing further education or professional certifications.

Employees can pursue educational opportunities without shouldering the full financial burden, enhancing their professional growth.

  • Potential tax benefits if the education assistance program adheres to IRS guidelines.

Depending on the program structure, employees may qualify for tax-free educational assistance up to certain limits.

TIP: Edenred’s Lifestyle Spending Accounts offer education benefits for employees including classes, seminars, and certifications to cultivate the skills of your growing workforce.

5. Commuter Benefits

Commuter benefits, which help employees cover the costs of commuting to work, are a valuable tax-deductible employee benefit.

This includes expenses related to public transportation, parking, and bicycle commuting.

Benefits to Employers

  • Tax deductions on commuter benefits reduce the overall cost of providing transportation-related perks.

Employers can incentivize environmentally friendly commuting options while enjoying tax             advantages.

  • Demonstrates a commitment to sustainable and cost-effective commuting options.

Offering commuter benefits aligns with corporate social responsibility goals and positions the company as environmentally conscious.

  • A streamlined administration process, reducing the burden of managing commuter benefits.
  • Employers can provide employees with a user-friendly platform that makes accessing and managing commuter benefits simple and convenient.

Benefits to Employees

  • Savings on commuting expenses through pre-tax contributions.

Employees can reduce their taxable income by using pre-tax dollars for commuting expenses, translating to significant savings.

  • Encourages the use of environmentally friendly and cost-effectivetransportation methods.

Commuter benefits promote the use of public transportation, carpooling, and cycling, contributing to a greener and more sustainable environment.

6. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are tax-advantaged accounts that allow employees to save for qualified medical expenses.

Contributions to HSAs are tax-deductible, providing both immediate and long-term tax benefits.

Benefits to Employers

  • Tax deductions on employercontributions to employees’ HSAs reduce taxable income.

Employers can contribute to employees’ HSAs as part of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), promoting financial health.

  • Attraction and retention of employees with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) seeking tax-advantaged health savings.

Offering HSAs makes the company attractive to employees seeking control over their healthcare expenses.

Benefits to Employees

  • Pre-tax contributions to HSAs reduce taxable income.

Employees can enjoy immediate tax savings by contributing to their HSAs with pre-tax dollars, lowering their overall tax liability.

  • Flexibility to use HSA funds for qualified medical expenses.

HSAs offer employees the flexibility to cover current medical expenses or save for future healthcare needs, all while enjoying tax advantages.

7. Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAPs)

Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAPs) help employees cover the costs of childcare or adult dependent care.

Employers can often deduct the average cost of contributions made by qualified employees to these programs.

Benefits to Employers

  • Tax deductions on DCAP contributions reduce taxable income.

Offering support for dependent care can be a strategic tax move for employers, contributing to a family-friendly work environment.

  • Attraction and retention of employees with dependents seeking financial support for dependent care.

Companies that prioritize family support and work-life balance are more likely to attract and retain talented professionals.

Benefits to Employees

  • Savings on dependent care expenses through pre-tax contributions.

Employees benefit from reduced out-of-pocket costs for childcare, making it more affordable to balance work and family responsibilities.

  • Access to affordable childcare options, contributing to work-life balance.

DCAPs support employees in achieving work-life balance by providing financial assistance for             childcare needs.

TIP: Edenred’s Lifestyle Spending Accounts offer benefits for family care, including pets, such as babysitting and nanny services, pet sitting, and pet wellness.

8. Adoption Assistance Programs

Employers offering adoption assistance programs may have eligible employees qualify for tax deductions.

These programs provide financial support to employees adopting children, covering eligible adoption expenses.

Benefits to Employers

  • Tax deductions on adoption assistance programs demonstrate social responsibility.

Supporting adoption reflects a commitment to employees and their families, contributing to a positive corporate image.

  • Attraction and retention of employees through support for family-building endeavors.

Companies that prioritize family-friendly benefits, including adoption assistance, foster a             supportive and inclusive work culture.

Benefits to Employees

  • Financial assistance with adoption-related expenses, reducing the financial burden.

Adoption assistance programs alleviate the costs associated with adoption, making it more feasible for employees to expand their families.

  • Potential eligibility for a tax credit on qualified adoption expenses.

Depending on individual circumstances, employees may qualify for a tax credit on their personal income tax return.

9. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are employee benefits offering counseling and support services that may be tax-deductible.

EAPs address a range of employee well-being issues, from mental health concerns to work-life balance challenges.

Benefits to Employers

  • Tax deductions on EAP costs contribute to a positive work environment.

EAPs support a healthy and resilient workforce, positively impacting the overall work culture and employee morale.

  • Improved employee productivity and job satisfaction through comprehensive support services.

By addressing employees’ personal and professional challenges, EAPs enhance overall job satisfaction and productivity.

Benefits to Employees

  • Access to confidential counseling and support services for personal and work-related challenges.

EAPs provide a valuable resource for employees facing personal or work-related difficulties, promoting well-being.

  • Enhanced overall well-being, contributing to a healthier and more engaged workforce.

Comprehensive EAPs contribute to employees’ overall well-being, fostering a positive and supportive work environment.

How Can Edenred Help You Get Started

Navigating the landscape of employee benefits and fringe benefits is a strategic move for businesses aiming to attract, retain, and support their workforce.

By understanding the tax advantages associated with fringe benefit offerings like commuter benefits and HSAs, employers can not only enhance their employees’ financial well-being but also optimize their own tax positions.

Combining these with added voluntary benefits can work to create a terrific benefits package that will attract and retain top talent.

Ready to enhance your benefits package? Schedule a meeting with Edenred today!

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