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Obviously, this is a perk of the job and the doctor never has to report the money paid towards the lease as income to the irs.

So, my question is whether this is kosher or not?
I figure it must be a gray area as many, many physicians (and other business people alike) probably do this.

It's not kosher and it's not a gray area at all. In their business practices, only the business use is deductible. I don't think you'll find that many people not reporting the personal use.

I am about to join a practice and want to know if it is okay for my employer to do this same thing for me. Pay for my lease payment, so it never gets paid to me as income. I will be an employee of the practice with a salary. They plan on paying for my monthly lease payments.

Did they tell you that you wouldn't have income? Personal use, which includes commuting, is taxed. There's several ways to determine the amount included as compensation, which are too complicated to go into here. Ask they how they intend to do it. I think you'll find out they know it's taxable to you.

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