All you need to know about mobility budget and information about taxation for employers & employees

Key points:

  • Basics. The NAVIT Mobility Budget is a digital benefit that your company grants to its employees so that they can travel to work, on business trips or privately in a flexible and climate-friendly way.

    Companies can offer it as a more flexible (and cost-effective!) alternative to the company car, addressing the needs of many young professionals. The NAVIT mobility budget allows employees to use any mode of transport - worldwide.
  • Who is eligible for the mobility budget? Anyone in your company can receive a mobility budget. This includes full-time and part-time employees, trainees, working students and mini-jobbers on a 520-euro basis.
  • How does it work with accounting and taxes? That depends on how you set it up for your team. Many mobility services are tax-free or tax-privileged. The usual way is to account for it as a non-cash benefit, in Germany ‘Sachbezug’.
  • Use cases of the NAVIT mobility budget. Whether for travel to work, on business or for trips in your free time, with the NAVIT mobility budget you can use any available means of transport - worldwide.

    This means the credit can be used for public transport tickets as well as other mobility services such as bike sharing, scooter sharing, car sharing, a cab and other ride-hailing services.
  • Any restrictions on using the mobility budget? With the mobility budget, you can use any type of mobility the way you want.

    Depending on which mobility service you choose, it is important to check the conditions of the respective provider.

What is a mobility budget?

The mobility budget is a monthly mobility allowance that companies provide to their employees for work or private trips.

This credit can be used for any type of trip, whether it is business or leisure, and it can be used for any means of transport and any mobility provider.

Which mobility providers can you choose from?

With a mobility budget, the possibilities are endless. The mobility allowance can be used for all mobility services available on the market and worldwide. Here are just a few examples of services you and your employees can choose from:

  • Public transport tickets. The most common use of the mobility budget is to purchase public transport tickets. Access tickets from all public transport and railway agencies in Germany and worldwide and buy one-way tickets, short-trip tickets, and weekly or monthly passes. You can also take out monthly or annual subscriptions.
  • Fuel and charge. Travel allowances for the use of your private vehicle (e.g., reimbursement of a flat rate of €0.30 for each kilometer of travel between home and work).
  • Micro-mobility services. Use available micro-mobility providers, including e-scooter sharing, e-moped sharing, and bike sharing.
  • Car sharing services. Rent a car from WeShare, Miles, SHARE NOW, Sixt and many more.
  • Ride-hailing services. Easily hail a cab or use services from Uber, FREE NOW, and others.
  • Bike leasing services. Employees can set up the bike of their choice and sign up for a bike lease.
Do you have questions about how to set up your company mobility?

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What are the benefits using mobility budget?

  • Strengthen employee loyalty. Improve the work-life balance and happiness of your employees. Attract and retain the best talent with a unique digital benefit that enables full mobility.
  • Give your employees maximum flexibility. The NAVIT mobility budget provides access to all modes of transportation worldwide. With our digital mobility solutions, your employees decide how best to get to work and do it sustainably.
  • Promote sustainability. Offset the mobility of your employees and contribute to making your company's mobility 100% climate neutral. The CO2 emissions of all journeys made via the NAVIT mobility budget are automatically offset via our certified climate projects.
  • Simple onboarding processes. Thanks to the simple onboarding processes, the time required for administration is reduced and with easy employee management via the NAVIT dashboard, you always keep an eye on the costs.
  • Your tax benefits. Companies and their employees benefit from a tax-free benefit of €50 or flat rate taxation of 30% above that. Read more about taxes here.

How do the billing and taxation work?

The mobility budget offers a new flexibility and opens up a whole range of possibilities for your employees.

However, since the budget is an addition to the salary, the package you offer your employees has an impact on accounting.

Currently, taxation varies depending on the mode of transportation. Tickets for public transport are tax-free. Other forms of mobility, such as Uber and taxis, are taxed.

The most important points you should keep in mind regarding taxation and the mobility budget:

  • Trips on public transport are tax-free. The travel costs of environmentally friendly means of transport, such as buses and trains, are subsidized by the state.

    This is not only cheaper than a company car but also encourages employees to travel to work in a climate-friendly manner. This pays off for companies.

    They can offer their employees additional benefits and promote sustainable mobility at the same time. You can find out more about how public transport tickets are paid for later on this page.
  • Company bicycles can be provided tax-free or tax-privileged. You can find out how this works in this article on bike leasing.
  • Budget used for carsharing or ride-hailing services is tax-free up to an amount of €50 per month.

    Beyond that, these non-cash benefits are subject to a 30% flat-rate payroll tax (plus social security contributions and any other tax).
  • Find a detailed article on taxation and accounting of the mobility budget here.

Two different ways to pay for your public transport tickets

  1. Reimbursement of public transport tickets: Your employees buy the tickets, scan the ticket and upload it to the NAVIT app.

    That way your employees are able to prove their travel costs and you reimburse them via the mobility budget. You can read more about how this works here.
  2. 'Jobticket': Your employees decide via the NAVIT app to use all or part of the budget for the job ticket.

    NAVIT takes care of the backend management of the documents and provides the job ticket to the employees via the app. Learn more on our job ticket page.

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Frequently asked questions

How much mobility budget should I give my employees?

It depends on the travel needs of your employees. You and your company can set the budget however you want.

There are legally no limits to how much you want to set your mobility budget. However, be aware of taxation and billing based on the amount you set. Different rules apply here depending on the mobility service.

A use case example: Let's assume you grant the mobility budget as a benefit of €50 per month for each employee. In this case, you can reimburse the full amount (€50) if it is used for public transport tickets.

Can I carry over my unused mobility budget to the next month?

Yes! Any unused mobility budget can be carried over to the next month and will not expire each month. But, of course, that is up to the company to decide.

We have customers who reset their budget monthly because they want to encourage their workforce to use the mobility budget.

We also have companies that allow their employees to save up for major travel expenses and let their budget roll over from month to month. However, there is one exception: the non-cash benefit expires at the end of the month.

What happens to unused mobility budget?

That's up to your company to determine. Possible options are:

  1. The mobility budget is reset every month. The remaining amount expires.
  2. The unused mobility budget can be carried over to the next month and saved for some time.
  3. The remaining mobility budget is paid out with the salary, after deduction of taxes and social security contributions.

Of course, there are different payroll and tax calculations for each option the company chooses.

Can I also use the mobility budget for subscriptions?

Yes, an existing budget can also be used for public transport subscriptions (season tickets or job tickets), bicycle subscriptions or bicycle leasing.

Is private use of the mobility budget allowed?

That depends on how your company wants to structure the mobility budget. In principle, public transport tickets, bicycles and budget for mobility service providers can also be used privately.

Information and content disclaimer

NAVIT hereby states that the information provided about benefits on our website is only for informational purposes only and does not represent any tax or legal advice. The content is not intended to replace any individual, binding tax and legal advice that addresses your specific tax or legal situation. We, therefore, declare that information provided is without guarantee of correctness and completeness. 

We continue to provide updated information and research insights. We as a provider of this information cannot assume any liability for the accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of the information provided. In particular, the information is of a general nature and does not constitute tax or legal advice in individual cases. For questions about taxes and legal topics, please consult a certified tax advisor or lawyer.

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Stefan Wendering
Stefan is a freelance author and editor at NAVIT. Previously, he worked for startups and in the mobility sphere. He is an expert in urban and sustainable mobility, employee benefits, and New Work. In addition to creating blog content, he also produces marketing materials, taglines, and website content, as well as case studies.
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