Have staffers complained because their expense reimbursements are taxed? An accountable plan can address the issue. Here’s how accountable plans work and how they benefit employers and employees.

A photo of a folder, a journal and a stack of paper to make not-for-profit employees aware of reimbursement plans.

Be Reasonable
Under an accountable plan, reimbursement payments to employees will be free from federal income and employment taxes and aren’t subject to withholding from workers’ paychecks. Additionally, your organization benefits because the reimbursements aren’t subject to the employer’s portion of federal employment taxes.

The IRS stipulates that all expenses covered in an accountable plan have a business connection and be “reasonable.” Additionally, employers can’t reimburse employees more than what they paid for any business expense. And employees must account to you for their expenses and, if an expense allowance was provided, return any excess allowance within a reasonable time period.


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