While many of us don't like to think about it, we spend an awful lot of time getting to and from work every day. The average American spends roughly 50 minutes each day commuting, meaning that many of us spend more hours traveling to work during the year than we do taking vacation. 

For many folks, the daily trip isn't cheap either. That's why pre-tax commuter benefits have become one of the top voluntary benefits offered by companies to their employees. These benefits allow workers to set aside money each month before taxes to pay for parking at work and other mass transit costs, such as fares for buses, trains, carpool vans, and ferries.

This year, employees were able to pay up to $230 tax-free each month for parking and mass transit costs, allowing those who contributed the maximum to each account to keep an additional $184 of their hard-earned money each month. However, this level of employee savings has only been made possible because in 2009 Congress acted to increase the mass transit contribution limit to give it the same weight as the parking limit. Prior to that 2009 amendment, employees could only contribute up to $120 per month for mass transit.

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