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Massachusetts Mileage Reimbursement: All You Need To Know

Find out all you need to know about Massachusetts mileage reimbursement.
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When it comes to business expenses, mileage reimbursement stands out as a critical consideration for both employers and employees. This financial compensation should cover the cost of using a personal vehicle for business purposes, and its governance falls under specific laws and regulations. 

Besides California and Illinois, Massachusetts stands out for its specific approach to mileage reimbursement. Understanding the Massachusetts mileage reimbursement laws is crucial for compliance and financial planning, as it impacts company budgeting and income considerations for employees who drive for work.

This article delves into the complexities of Massachusetts mileage reimbursement, offering a comprehensive guide to its rates, legal obligations, calculation methods, and comparison to federal standards.

Do Employers Have to Reimburse for Mileage in Massachusetts?

Yes. Massachusetts’ specific regulation, Code of Massachusets Regulations Minimum Wage 27,04, mandates employers to reimburse employees for travel time, mileage, and transportation expenses incurred during the workday. 

This law clearly states:

"An employee required or directed to travel from one place to another after the beginning of or before the close of the work day shall be compensated for all travel time and shall be reimbursed for all transportation expenses.

This provision is a significant aspect of the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws, emphasizing the state's commitment to ensuring fair compensation for employees who use their personal vehicles for work-related activities.

However, it's important to note that this mandate applies specifically to employees engaged in an "occupation" as defined by Massachusetts General Law MGL. ch. 151 s 2

The definition includes those employed in industries, trades, businesses, or various classes of work, but it excludes professional services, agricultural and farm work, work by persons in rehabilitation or training programs, seasonal camp counselors, counselor trainees, members of religious orders, and outside salespeople who regularly work away from the employer's business location and do not make daily reports or visits to the office.

For those who fall within the scope of "occupation," the law ensures protection and entitlement to mileage reimbursement. Massachusetts’s regulations highlight the need for employers to fairly compensate their employees for the business use of personal vehicles, covering costs such as gasoline, insurance, repairs, lease payments, and parking fees.

Reimbursement Methods

There are several methods for reimbursing employee mileage expenses, each with its own benefits and considerations:

  • IRS Standard Mileage Rate. This model reimburses employees based on the actual miles driven for business purposes, often using the IRS standard rate or another predetermined rate. It's simple and typically aligns with actual usage.
  • FAVR (Fixed and Variable Rate). This approach combines a fixed monthly allowance for vehicle costs (insurance, depreciation) with a variable rate for operational costs (fuel, maintenance). It's more complex but can more accurately reflect the true cost of business vehicle use.
  • Actual Expense Method. With this method, employers reimburse employees for the actual costs incurred while using their personal vehicles for work purposes, such as fuel, maintenance,  insurance premiums, registration fees, depreciation, taxes, tires, and oil.
  • Lump Sum Payment. Employers provide a fixed monthly allowance for vehicle expenses. While simple, it might not accurately reflect actual expenses incurred.

However, you should know that there are differences between these methods when it comes to tax deductions. To learn more about this matter, read our comprehensive Mileage Reimbursement Guide.

How Much Is Mileage Reimbursement in Massachusetts?

While the Massachusetts state law mandates mileage reimbursement for certain employees, it does not prescribe a specific rate. 

However, the rate at which mileage reimbursement is calculated often aligns with the standard mileage rate set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which for 2024 stands at 67 cents per mile. 

This rate is designed to cover the costs associated with using a personal vehicle for business purposes, including but not limited to gasoline, insurance, repairs, etc.

Employers can establish reimbursement rates that may differ from the IRS standard if these rates fairly compensate employees for the actual expenses incurred. 

The adoption of the IRS rate by many employers and courts in Massachusetts demonstrates its general acceptance as a fair reflection of business travel costs. However, employers must make sure their chosen reimbursement rate is transparently communicated and agreed upon by their employees to avoid disputes and comply with state regulations.

Employers who fail to comply with employee reimbursement requirements are in violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act, which stipulates strict penalties for non-compliance.

If an employee is not reimbursed for mileage as mandated by law, they have legal ways to address this issue. Notably, expenses not reimbursed, including mileage, are subject to mandatory tripling under the Act. 

How Do I Calculate Mileage Reimbursement for My Employees In Massachusetts?

Timeero lets you calculate business mileage easily and accurately.

Calculating mileage reimbursement for your employees in Massachusetts involves a few steps:

Determine the Mileage. Track the number of miles each employee drives for business purposes. While traditional methods like manual logs are an option, modern GPS mileage tracking apps, such as Timeero, offer accuracy and efficiency. Timeero automates this process, providing precise tracking of business mileage with minimal effort from employees.

Apply the Reimbursement Rate. As of 2024, the standard IRS mileage reimbursement rate is 67 cents per mile. Multiply the number of miles driven by this rate. For example, if an employee drives 180 miles for business purposes, the reimbursement would be 180 miles X $0.67 = $120.60.

Reimburse the Employee. Add the calculated reimbursement amount to the employee’s paycheck or pay it separately, depending on your company’s policy.

How Can Timeero Help Me Stay Compliant With the Massachusetts Mileage Reimbursement Law?

Compliance with the Massachusetts mileage reimbursement law is paramount for employers in this state. This is where Timeero steps in as an indispensable tool, streamlining the process and safeguarding against potential violations. 

Here’s how Timeero can be beneficial in this regard:

Accurate Mileage Tracking

With Timeero, every mile is accounted for.

Timeero uses GPS technology to track employee mileage for business purposes accurately. This precision is crucial in complying with Massachusetts' requirement to compensate employees fairly for their travel expenses. 

By automating the mileage tracking process, Timeero eliminates the inaccuracies and inefficiencies associated with manual tracking, ensuring that every mile is accounted for.

Automated Record-Keeping

Generate mileage reports quickly

Maintaining detailed records of travel expenses is a legal necessity under Massachusetts law. Timeero automates this process, storing data of each trip, including the date, time, distance, and purpose. 

This automated record-keeping streamlines the reimbursement process and provides relevant documentation in the event of an audit or dispute, ensuring that employers can easily demonstrate compliance with state regulations.

Customizable Reimbursement Rates

Mileage settings can be customized to fit business needs.

While Massachusetts does not specify a reimbursement rate, allowing employers to align with the IRS standard or establish their own, Timeero offers the flexibility to customize reimbursement rates according to company policy or legal requirements. 

This feature ensures that businesses can adapt to changes in IRS rates or adjust their policies while remaining compliant with state laws.

Simplified Compliance Reporting

Timeero generates comprehensive reports that provide details regarding mileage reimbursements, facilitating easy review and analysis. These reports can be invaluable for internal audits, financial planning, and ensuring compliance with Massachusetts mileage reimbursement laws and other relevant federal laws. 

By simplifying the reporting process, Timeero assists employers in maintaining transparency and accountability in their reimbursement practices.

Streamlined Reimbursement Process

Timeero Integrations

Timeero’s seamless integration with common payroll and accounting software, such as QuickBooks, Xero, Gusto, ADP, Rippling, etc., significantly simplifies the reimbursement process. Mileage reimbursements are processed efficiently and accurately, reducing the administrative burden on employers and speeding up employee compensation.

Enhanced Employee Satisfaction

By enabling accurate and timely reimbursement for travel expenses, Timeero helps you protect your employees from bearing the cost of business-related travel. This level of accuracy and efficiency fosters a positive work environment, enhancing employee satisfaction and trust in their employer's compliance with state laws.

To learn more about other great features of Timeero and the benefits it may provide to your business, check out our comprehensive 2024 Timeero review.

Mileage Reimbursement Policy for Improved Compliance

Besides using an accurate mileage tracking tool,  a clear mileage reimbursement policy is essential for maintaining transparency and compliance with Massachusetts laws. 

This policy should outline the reimbursement rate, which aligns with the IRS standard or a different rate that fairly compensates employees for their expenses. 

The mileage reimbursement policy should also explain the process for logging miles, submitting reimbursement requests, and payment timelines. Consider including guidelines on the mileage reimbursement requirements and what constitutes business travel versus personal travel in your policy to provide clarity for employers and employees.

Check out our article to learn more about creating a mileage reimbursement policy, or download a free template that meets your business needs.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information regarding Massachusetts mileage reimbursement and is created for informational purposes only. Always consult with a qualified tax professional or financial advisor to receive personalized advice and to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Massachusetts Mileage Reimbursement FAQ

How do Massachusetts mileage reimbursement rates compare to federal rates?

Massachusetts recognizes the federal standard mileage rate as an appropriate benchmark for employee mileage reimbursement. Employers can confidently apply this rate to ensure compliance with state labor laws and to facilitate tax deductions for both the company and its employees. By adhering to the federal rate, employers can avoid legal complications and provide fair and consistent reimbursement for business-related travel.

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