A "fringe benefit" is another way employers can compensate their employees. Some fringe benefits are included in taxable income, and others are not.
Adoption benefits: Employer reimbursements to an employee or third party for qualified adoption expenses are generally tax free up to $13,400 in 2015. The tax-free amount starts to phase out once modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) exceeds $201,010 and is completely phased out if MAGI is $241,010 or more in 2015.
Athletic Facilities: The fair market value of athletic facilities (gyms, swimming pools, golf courses, and tennis courts) is tax-free if the facilities are on property owned or leased by the employer. The property does not have to be on the main business premises.
Child or dependent care plans: The value of daycare services provided or reimbursed by an employer is tax-free up to $5,000, or $2,500 for married couples filing separately. Tax-free employer benefits reduce eligibility for the dependent care tax credit.
De Minimis (minor) fringe benefits: These are benefits which are impractical to tax, such as: occasional money for dinner, taxi fares for working overtime, and occasional theater or sporting event tickets.
Discounts on company products and services: Merchandise discounts and other discounted services from your employer that are usually sold to customers are tax-free if they do not incur additional costs in providing them to you.
Education plans: Employer-financed undergraduate and graduate courses are tax-free up to $5,250 in 2015.
Employee achievement awards: Achievement awards are taxable unless they qualify under special rules for length of service or safety achievement.
Group-term life insurance: Premiums paid for by employers are not taxed if policy coverage is $50,000 or less.
Health and accident plans, including Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): Premiums paid by an employer are tax-free. Employer contributions to a HSA are not taxed up to $3,350 for self-only coverage or $6,650 for family coverage in 2015.
Interest-free or low interest loans: Interest-free loans received from your employer may be taxed.
Retirement tax planning advice: Retirement planning advice provided by an employer is tax-free for employees and their spouses as long as the employer maintains a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k).
Transportation benefits: Parking benefits, transit passes, and bicycle-commuting reimbursements provided by your employer are tax-free within certain limits.
Tuition reductions: Tuition reductions for courses below the graduate level are generally tax-free. Graduate students who are teaching or research assistants are only taxed if the reduction is compensation for teaching services.