A user on TikTok has sparked debate after claiming that her workplace makes her pay for parking on the job.
In a video with over 66,000 views, TikTok user Rachel (@korean_raquelita) shows a payment machine, which is charging her $10.
“Biggest hate crime is when your workplace makes you pay for parking at their site,” she wrote in the text overlaying the video. “Like why am I losing money.”
@korean_raquelita “The corporate office doesn’t have enough money duh 🙃” #corporate #corporatelife #parkingfee #parking #wtf #parkingfees #corporatepark #parkinglot ♬ Um excuse me wtf – posts with 2% effort
In the comments section, some users speculated about whether charging employees for on-site parking is legal.
“I’m pretty sure that’s illegal,” wrote one user.
“Is that legal?” asked another.
While Rachel noted in response that “It should not be,” the legality of charging employees for parking changes depending on why the employee has their car at work in the first place.
“If you are required as an employee to use your car in doing your work, it may be illegal for your employer to charge you for parking. The law requires employers to pay for all costs incurred by an employee in performing work duties,” employee rights attorney Don D. Sessions explained n the L.A. Times. “If you are not required to operate your vehicle as part of your job, you’re responsible for your own parking fees.”
Other commenters shared their own stories of paid parking at work.
“It would have cost me $40/day parking if I didn’t spend $25 for 1.5hr long train ride,” recalled a user. “The company I worked for managed the entire complex too.”
“I have the first two hours free so I just set alarms and run out there every two hours,” claimed a second.
“My work [parking] is $180 a month. To literally go to work,” alleged a third.
Further users offered ideas on ways to mitigate parking costs.
“Negotiate higher pay to compensate for parking fees,” advised a commenter.
“Def get some coworkers to demand they compensate you for parking,” stated a further TikToker.
Many users suggested writing the parking fees off on taxes. While this may be possible at a state level, it appears that it is no longer possible to do so at a federal level.
“Prior to 2018, employees were able to deduct parking fees in connection with the business use of their vehicle – meaning, if your job required you to use your personal vehicle during your workday, you were likely allowed to claim this deduction on your taxes. Prior to 2018, parking fees were deductible as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to 2% of your Adjusted Gross Income, but only if your employer did not already reimburse you for these fees,” Megan Peña explained for TaxAudit.com. “However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changed the rules for deducting expenses incurred as an employee for the years 2018 through 2025. Unless you are an Armed Forces reservist, a fee-based state or local government official, or a qualified performing artist, you can no longer claim work-related parking fees, at least not until 2026.”
That said, Peña noted there are exceptions to this rule for self-employed taxpayers depending on the circumstances.
Back on TikTok, many users were steadfast in saying that paying to park at work is a red flag.
As one user put it, “I REFUSE TO EVER PAY FOR PARK TO WORK ABSOLUTELY EVER AGAIN.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Rachel via email.