522R-B - Fringe Benefits

Frederick County Public Schools may choose to provide certain fringe benefits to various groups of employees. The taxability of employee fringe benefits will comply with regulations of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 
  1. Departments and Types of Clothing Issued

    1. Below is a summary of the departments and types of clothing typically provided by Frederick County Public Schools. IRS Code §132 allows working condition fringes to be excluded from gross income only if the clothes must be worn as a condition of employment and they are not suitable or adaptable for everyday wear. Most articles of clothing provided to school personnel are adaptable to street wear and are taxable; this includes, but is not limited to: shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, athletic shoes, baseball caps, jackets, duffel bags, etc. Safety clothing is generally not adaptable to street wear and is not taxable; this includes, but is not limited to: aprons, safety boots, safety vests, safety goggles, and other personal protective equipment.

      1. Schools and Departments: Schools and departments may purchase spirit shirts for their employees. In addition, coaches and other staff receive a variety of athletic apparel and accessories related to their sport team(s), including but not limited to: shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, athletic shoes, baseball caps, jackets, duffel bags.  Items of clothing valued over $20.00 are considered federal and state taxable.

      2. School Nutrition: All school nutrition employees will receive an annual clothing stipend of $100. The stipend is a benefit for the purpose of helping the employee purchase items of clothing. The clothing to be worn consists of long pants, shirts, long or short sleeves, and rubber soled, slip resistant shoes. These items are suitable for street wear and are considered federal and state taxable to the employee. For safety reasons, shorts, skirts, or capris are not to be worn. Shirts reflecting school spirit or on occasion a particular celebration may be worn (i.e. Super Bowl, holiday, etc.). The employee is not required to purchase any part of the uniform at a particular store but must adhere to the division’s dress code. Aprons and hair nets are required for safety reasons and are considered not taxable. The clothing stipend will be paid in the September payroll of each year.

      3. Facilities Services: As a condition of employment, facilities services employees will be provided 5 shirts and 5 pants. The type and color of the clothing items will be determined by FCPS. The Director of Facilities Services may authorize additional shirts and pants for certain maintenance staff due to the nature of their work.  The clothing is required to be worn while on duty unless special authorization has been received from the employee’s immediate supervisor. Upon separation of employment, all clothing is returned. The shirts and pants are suitable for street wear and are considered federal and state taxable to the employee. Safety vests, safety goggles, and other personal protective equipment are required for safety reasons and are considered not taxable.

      4. Mechanics: Due to the nature of their work, fleet maintenance employees will receive shirts and pants rented through a vendor contract that also provides weekly cleaning service. Clothing is issued upon employment and replaced as needed. Upon separation of employment, all clothing is returned. The shirts and pants are suitable for street wear and are considered federal and state taxable to the employee. All safety boots, safety vests, safety goggles, and other personal protective equipment are required for safety and are considered not taxable.

      5. Custodians/Couriers: As a condition of employment, custodians and couriers will be provided up to 5 shirts and 5 pants. The type and color of the clothing items will be determined by FCPS. The clothing is required to be worn while on duty unless special authorization has been received from the employee’s immediate supervisor. Upon separation of employment, all clothing is to be returned. The shirts and pants are suitable for street wear and are considered federal and state taxable to the employee. Safety vests, safety goggles, and other personal protective equipment are required for safety reasons and are considered not taxable.

    2. Administration

      1. The school/department purchasing clothing and accessories is responsible for preparing an excel spreadsheet including the employee's name, identification number, the value of the clothing and accessories, and a description of the clothing and accessories. The spreadsheet must reconcile to the invoice or other document paying for the clothing and accessories. The spreadsheet will be signed by the Principal or Department Supervisor before being submitted to the Finance Department.

  2. Vehicle Use

    School-owned vehicles may be assigned to employees based upon their job responsibilities. 

    IRS Code allows certain vehicle assignments to be exempt from taxation, but there are some assignments considered to be taxable to the employee. The following section outlines these situations. 

    1. Utility or maintenance trucks meeting certain equipment specifications are not taxable to the employee due to the design of the vehicle.

    2. Certain FCPS employees are provided a school-owned vehicle for the purpose of conducting their job responsibilities on behalf of the division. The business use of the vehicle is non-taxable. The personal use of the vehicle, which includes commuting between home/work, work/home, and trips for meal breaks are a taxable fringe benefit. FCPS uses the Commuting Rule for valuing the personal use. Under this rule, the value of the personal usage is calculated by multiplying each one-way personal trip by the current IRS rate established per year. The amount calculated will be included in the employee’s taxable wages per month.

  3. Tool Allotments

    1. Mechanics are provided a $600 tool allotment per year. The funds are a taxable fringe benefit. Receipts will be submitted to the Finance Department for reimbursement.

  4. Group-Term Life Insurance

    1. The cost of group-term life insurance for more than $50,000 worth of coverage is considered a taxable fringe benefit to employees. The imputed value is based upon IRS Regulation 1.79-3(d)(2).

  5. Other

    1. Other items may be subject to this regulation and must be coordinated with the Executive Director of Finance or designee.

Adopted: July 1, 2014
Amended: August 23, 2017
Amended: August 7, 2018