Commuter spending accounts (CSAs) are similar to flexible spending accounts in that they deduct money from the employee’s paycheck before it is taxed and put it in an account to use for a specific type of expense, in this case parking or mass transit for work commutes.
There are two types of CSA accounts:
- The parking account can pay for eligible parking expenses near your workplace or at a location from which you commute to work via public transit or vanpool.
- The transit account can pay for eligible public transit or vanpool expenses you may use to get to and from work. This includes bus or train expenses. The IRS does not consider gas or tolls to be eligible expenses.
Generally, you can use a vehicle for vanpool expenses if it seats at least six adults, not including the driver, and uses at least 80 percent of its mileage to transport you to and from your work.
You can enroll in the parking account, transit account, or both. Unlike TexFlex flexible spending accounts, the CSA is a month-to-month benefit. You can enroll anytime during the year and make changes throughout the year, depending on your transportation and parking needs.
Money deposited in CSAs is not considered taxable income, so you won’t pay as much in taxes, which would put a bit more cash in your pocket.
To enroll, sign in to your ERS account online and click on the Commuter Spending Account link.
For more information about the CSA program, contact Human Resources at 713-743-3988 or visit the TexFlex website. You can also call ADP toll-free at (844) 884-2364 Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. –7 p.m. CT.
FAQs About Commuter Spending Accounts
- How can I enroll for the CSA benefits? You can enroll through the ERS website, by calling ADP or by contacting the UH Human Resources Department at 713-743-3988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Will there be a 30 day open-enrollment period for the CSA benefit or can I enroll at anytime? You can enroll or dis-enroll at any time.
- Will I need to pledge a fixed monthly amount for a 12-month period or for the reminder of the current plan year? No. This is a month-to-month account.
- Will the CSA become part of the Summer Enrollment election options? No, because you may enroll or dis-enroll anytime.
- Can I change my monthly amount if I have a change in my transportation situation? Yes, you can change their election amount at any time, for any reason.
- Will my money be pre-funded on an annualized basis, like the Health Care Account, or is it only available month-to-month, like the Dependent Care Account? It is like the Dependent Day Care Account. You can only use what you have already paid.
- Will I get a debit card? Yes. You can also choose to pay up front and request reimbursement.
- How can I find out more? Please visit the TexFlex website or contact UH Human Resources at 713-743-3988 or email@example.com.