Colo. Employees May Owe Back Taxes for Take-Home Vehicles

December 13, 2016, by Roselynne Reyes

More than 1,000 Colorado state employees may owe back taxes for using take-home vehicles. The Office of the State Auditor reported that the state underreported vehicle fringe benefits for employees' commutes, and the state employees who used them may be liable for the back taxes.

Under the state's take-home vehicle program, employees are permitted to take home a state-owned vehicle as long as the state agency can show that the employee's commute is an efficient and cost-effective use of the state fleet. The audit found that, of the $1.54 million spent on the program in calendar year 2015, close to 90% of spending did not meet these requirements.

For this investigation, the audit surveyed the information for 30 commuters of the 782 on record. Rather than explaining how the employee's commute would promote fleet efficiency, 29 vehicle justifications either cited public safety or agency efficiency as their vehicle justification.

The report recommended that the state works with the Attorney General and tax specialists to assess its compliance with IRS requirements, revise rules on take-home vehicles, and take steps to ensure employees correctly reimburse the state.

Read the full audit here.

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