UberPool qualifies as tax-free transit with WageWorks partnership

Uber now qualifies for tax-free transit in New York City.

The e-hail company has partnered with benefit administrators WageWorks to extend pretax commuter benefits to UberPool trips, according to an announcement from WageWorks.

Employees at companies that offer commuter benefits through WageWorks can request an UberPool using their commuter tax benefit card for their trips beginning Tuesday.

“This furthers our goal of getting more people in fewer cars, while making New Yorkers’ daily commute more affordable and more efficient,” said Josh Mohrer, general manager of Uber New York, in a statement.

Uber will send vehicles that seat six passengers or more, like an Uber XL, to make the trips, in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations, which mandate that pretax commuter benefit funds can only be used in private van pools that seat six or more passengers.

“WageWorks is excited to add UberPool to our service offering, as it further extends our ability to provide the convenience and savings associated with commuter benefits to more people,” said Dan Neuburger, president of WageWorks Commuter Services, in a statement.

On Jan. 1, 2016, President Barack Obama signed a federal budget bill raising the monthly cap on pre-tax commuter benefits to $255 per month. Through Uber, the benefits will initially only be available in New York City. The company plans to expand availability to Pool trips in other cities offering the ride-sharing service, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

About 58,000 employers offer of consumer-directed benefits through WageWorks for more than 4.5 million people, according to the company.

A spokeswoman speaking on behalf of WageWorks said the company would “entertain discussions” with other ride-share services, like Lyft, that can provide service that meets IRS requirements.