The Tax Free Mobility Budget

Everything you need to know about the tax free mobility budget from Circula.

Sophie Jordan avatar
Written by Sophie Jordan
Updated over a week ago

Circula Mobility is an employee benefit in the form of a mobility budget. Companies can allocate a monthly budget to their employees to use for their mobility needs. By submitting tickets or receipts to Circula, users can receive a monthly allowance.

The tax-free mobility budget includes all means of transportation that can be assigned to public transport (ÖPNV) or long-distance passenger transport if it is explicitly used for commuting to the first place of work (erste Arbeitsstätte).

As the name suggests, this benefit is completely free from taxes and social security contributions for both employers and employees.

Why does the tax free mobility budget exist?

  • The German government is promoting the use of sustainable means of transport and therefore make them more attractive. An increasing use of public transport is helping to reduce pollution.

  • The tax-free mobility budget enables companies to implement their own sustainability strategy and motivate employees to adopt more sustainable behavior.

Tax regulations

  • According to Section 3 No. 15 of the German Income Tax Act (EStG), an allowance that a company provides to its employees as a salary increase for local transportation (ÖPNV) is tax-exempt.

  • For the journey from home to the first place of work, the allowance for a long-distance train (ICE, TGV, etc.) or an intercity bus is also tax-free.

For which means of transport can the tax-free mobility budget be used?

Local public transport (ÖPNV)

Long-distance public transport

Suburban railroad and metro

Trains: ICE, IC, EC, Flixtrain, foreign

long-distance trains etc.

Tram

Long-distance buses: Intercity Bus,

Flixbus etc.

RE, RB trains

Associated costs: e.g.

seat reservations

Bus

Ferries in local and regional areas

The mobility budget for users

How much is the tax-free mobility budget?

Companies are free to determine the amount they want to make available to their employees.

How do I submit receipts?

Scan receipts:

  1. Go to the "Benefits" tab in your mobile app

  2. Tap the yellow Plus Button to submit a receipt or a ticket.

  3. Select "Mobility"

  4. Scan your receipt

  5. Tap Submit

  6. Track your submitted receipts in the "Benefits" tab. (Every submission has a status, approved receipts show the calculated reimbursement amount.)

Submit Benefit from the Circula storage:

  1. Go to the "Storage" tab in your mobile app

  2. Select the receipt, invoice, or ticket you want to submit

  3. Select "Benefit"

  4. Select "Mobility"

  5. Select the category of transportation you used.

  6. Tap Submit

  7. Track your submitted receipts in the "Benefits" tab. (Every submission has a status, approved receipts show the calculated reimbursement amount.)

Frequently asked questions

By when must my receipts be submitted?

Receipts to be reimbursed must always be submitted within the month of their issuance to be effective in calculating the reimbursement.

Please note:

For any corrections, we extend this time frame to submit to 01 - 03 of the following month. Benefits submitted in this time frame should be correct and meet all requirements, as no resubmissions will be accepted after the 03.

❗️ So please submit all receipts promptly and correctly in order to maximize your budget.

Do users have to keep the receipts?

Circula stores receipts in an audit-proof manner. Unless your company expresses other requirements, receipts do not need to be stored. However, we advise you to keep the receipts until the controlling is done in Circula.

Which types of mobility are taxed, which are tax-free?

All journeys by public transport within Germany are tax-free. The usual taxes are paid on journeys by individual transport (e.g. cab, scooter, car sharing) and long-distance transport (ICE, IC).

Exceptions: A long-distance transportation trip from home to the first place of work is tax free.

What is the maximum monthly amount of the mobility budget?

Companies are free to set the amount they want to make available to their employees. This way you remain flexible and offer your employees an individual and unique benefit.

Can employees get a refund for their annual public transportation pass?

Yes, the total amount is paid in equal monthly instalments until expiration.

Example: If you submit an annual pass worth €400, you will receive €33.33 as reimbursement each month.


Do you still have questions?

💬 Chat Support
📞+49 30 588 491 01
✉️️ support@circula.com

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