Car 54, Where Are You?


Police officers and firefighters who are permitted to drive their official vehicles home are exempt from the arrangement’s being considered a fringe benefit includable in income or subject to substantiation requirements of IRC § 274(d)(4), since the vehicles are considered unlikely to be used for personal purposes more than a minimal amount. In June, the IRS issued proposed and temporary regulations widening the provision to encompass vehicles used by “public safety officers,” which include law enforcement officers, rescue squad workers, ambulance crew members and chaplains who serve a governmental unit or agency in an official capacity. A public safety officer may be paid or unpaid, but vehicles must be clearly marked by insignia or words. See REG-106897- 08.

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