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http://www.yahoo.com/s/1085322

Make any personal calls on that company cell phone? That's a "fringe benefit" of your job, according to a 20-year-old law, and the IRS is looking to collect. The Wall Street Journal reports that the IRS wants to step up enforcement of the 1989 law, which holds that employees who make personal calls on a company cell phone are getting a "fringe benefit" from their employers—a benefit that should count as taxable income.

The law has been "long ignored" by employees and employers alike, according to the Journal, namely because most companies don't have the time or the inclination to tabulate exactly how many minutes you're on the phone with clients versus how often you're gabbing with friends and family.

But now, the IRS is floating a couple of proposals to make compliance easier—for employers, anyway. One would be to simply treat 25 percent of your company cell phone bill as a "fringe"—and therefore taxable—benefit, the Journal reports. Or, an employer could use "statistical sampling" to guesstimate how many of your cell minutes are work-related and which aren't.

OK, but what if you swear on a stack of bibles that you rarely, if ever, use your company phone for personal calls? That's fine, the IRS says—but you'll have to produce separate work and personal cell phone bills to prove it.

Think it's a crazy idea? Apparently the IRS is thinking it over and will make a decision by September, the Journal reports.

Meanwhile, guess who's on your side against the IRS? The big cell phone carriers, who (according to the WSJ story) are worried that companies will drop employee cell phone contracts if the IRS goes ahead with its proposal. (Instead, employers might simply reimburse you for business calls made on your personal phone.)

So, quick show of hands: How many of you have a company-issued cell phone, and if so, do you use it for personal calls? And should personal calls count as a "fringe," taxable benefit? Or should the IRS allow for (at the very least) "minimal personal use" of company phones, especially given that bosses often expect cell-toting employees to be in contact at all times?

Related:
Tax Man's Target: The Mobile Phone [The Wall Street Journal]


Where the hell will it stop

T.E.A.:|err
 

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Retarded.

Im sure they will get strict on self-employed people whom write off their "business" phone. LOL

I don't have a company phone from an employer, Im self-employed. My CPA told me to avoid hassle on my cell phone bill.

So I have two cell phones on my account. One personal, one business. The usage of each phone shows up on the paper bill. I just pay one and claim one No worries.
 

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I got nothing
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According to the story this is a law that has been around for 20 years so it is not something new generated by the socialist and his pals...Additionally, if I had a work provided cell phone I would not be using it for personal calls to begin with...
 

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Twin squirt guns.
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I carry a company Blackberry and only use it for email (data transfer), not phone calls. I use my personal iPhone for calls. Go ahead an look my bills over F'ers!

Unless I am out of the country, then I use the Blackberry phone for work. And Skype for personal calls.
 

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Lord of the Drinks
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I used to work for a company that complied with the law.

At the end of the day, the taxable income (fringe benefit) was so small, it was laughable.
 

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Seems that talking on a company phone for personal stuff could also be veiwed as company theft. Catch the boss on a bad day and you might not be paying taxes at all.
 

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Retarded.

Im sure they will get strict on self-employed people whom write off their "business" phone. LOL

I don't have a company phone from an employer, Im self-employed. My CPA told me to avoid hassle on my cell phone bill.

So I have two cell phones on my account. One personal, one business. The usage of each phone shows up on the paper bill. I just pay one and claim one No worries.
I would change CPA's if I were you.... and bitch slap the old one.....

I write off my internet, cell phones, and misc other stuff including office
supplies.... it's part of doing business. it's not "borderline" in my book.

audited twice, both times came home with a big smile on my face.......

--Sherpa
 

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If you voted for Obama you have no one to blame but your self.Hes going after eveything and then there going to make chit up.How do you think there going to pay for all this.
 

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Step 2 of this plan is to give everybody on welfare and the unemployeed free cells so it would be easier for them to find jobs.

Ok, I deserve a bashing for this idea.
 

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http://www.yahoo.com/s/1085322

Make any personal calls on that company cell phone? That's a "fringe benefit" of your job, according to a 20-year-old law, and the IRS is looking to collect. The Wall Street Journal reports that the IRS wants to step up enforcement of the 1989 law, which holds that employees who make personal calls on a company cell phone are getting a "fringe benefit" from their employers—a benefit that should count as taxable income.

The law has been "long ignored" by employees and employers alike, according to the Journal, namely because most companies don't have the time or the inclination to tabulate exactly how many minutes you're on the phone with clients versus how often you're gabbing with friends and family.

But now, the IRS is floating a couple of proposals to make compliance easier—for employers, anyway. One would be to simply treat 25 percent of your company cell phone bill as a "fringe"—and therefore taxable—benefit, the Journal reports. Or, an employer could use "statistical sampling" to guesstimate how many of your cell minutes are work-related and which aren't.

OK, but what if you swear on a stack of bibles that you rarely, if ever, use your company phone for personal calls? That's fine, the IRS says—but you'll have to produce separate work and personal cell phone bills to prove it.

Think it's a crazy idea? Apparently the IRS is thinking it over and will make a decision by September, the Journal reports.

Meanwhile, guess who's on your side against the IRS? The big cell phone carriers, who (according to the WSJ story) are worried that companies will drop employee cell phone contracts if the IRS goes ahead with its proposal. (Instead, employers might simply reimburse you for business calls made on your personal phone.)

So, quick show of hands: How many of you have a company-issued cell phone, and if so, do you use it for personal calls? And should personal calls count as a "fringe," taxable benefit? Or should the IRS allow for (at the very least) "minimal personal use" of company phones, especially given that bosses often expect cell-toting employees to be in contact at all times?

Related:
Tax Man's Target: The Mobile Phone [The Wall Street Journal]


Where the hell will it stop

T.E.A.:|err
Since this was adopted back when I was paying anywhere from a $1 to $3 per setup on my briefcase phone and $1 plus @ minute per call I say it's not going anywhere. It would cost them more to account then it would be worth.
 

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I would change CPA's if I were you.... and bitch slap the old one.....

I write off my internet, cell phones, and misc other stuff including office
supplies.... it's part of doing business. it's not "borderline" in my book.

audited twice, both times came home with a big smile on my face.......

--Sherpa
No way Jose. LOL Shes a retired IRS auditor

Phone 1 is mine (biz and personal) phone 2 is my girlfirends...opps i mean my personal phone;):)sphss. I basically pay $26 dollars a month out of my pocket.

I also write off all supplies, vehicle, advertising, fuel, hotel stays.. blah blah blah.
 

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Court Jester
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445 Posts
We went through this with the city this year. It's an antiquated law that was set up when cell bills were expensive. Prior to free nights and weekends. How can you tax a person or show it as a taxable benefit when the employer does not pay for it. Even the phones were free with the plan but they want to access a value and tax you on those. :|err
 

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Az Desert Dweller
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:mad:let see pretty soon the big "o" will charge you to fart, will charge you to breathe, will charge you to think, will charge you to talk, will charge you if you swear, will charge you to own a vehicle, will charge you to go to work, will charge you to come home from work, will charge you for sex with your mate, will charge you for thinking about sex, will charge you for wanting a recreational vehicle, will charge you for having that rec vehicle, will charge you to eat, will charge you for shopping to feed yourself, will charge you to shit, will charge you to flush that shit, will charge you a disposal fee, will charge you just to charge you, and then do a study to charge more for that study, DAMN WILL THIS CRAZINESS EVER END !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:mad::mad:
 

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"The" masheenist
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What...did you get bored typing? Seems that list is incomplete, there is plenty more to tax, errr...I mean charge you fees for.

:mad:let see pretty soon the big "o" will charge you to fart, will charge you to breathe, will charge you to think, will charge you to talk, will charge you if you swear, will charge you to own a vehicle, will charge you to go to work, will charge you to come home from work, will charge you for sex with your mate, will charge you for thinking about sex, will charge you for wanting a recreational vehicle, will charge you for having that rec vehicle, will charge you to eat, will charge you for shopping to feed yourself, will charge you to shit, will charge you to flush that shit, will charge you a disposal fee, will charge you just to charge you, and then do a study to charge more for that study, DAMN WILL THIS CRAZINESS EVER END !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:mad::mad:
 

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E-7 Sheepdog (ret)
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I carry a company Blackberry and only use it for email (data transfer), not phone calls. I use my personal iPhone for calls. Go ahead an look my bills over F'ers!

Unless I am out of the country, then I use the Blackberry phone for work. And Skype for personal calls.
If you think PDA's won't be next, yiou're a fool.

Also being discussed is the $$$ your employer pays for your medical insurance, YOU paying taxes on it. That's about 12K in addl. income I do not get, that I will pay 3-4K in taxes on.
 

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I can understand the need to raise taxes to pay off the bullsh*t stimulus plan none of us wanted to begin with. Wether we like it or not taxes are inevitable.

But...

At least be smart with your taxes. If they start enforcing this law it will have a very negative impact. The IRS already changed the law to state that a cell phone billed in the name of a person and not the name of a company is only 80 percent tax deductible rather then 100 percent. I'm sure they make quite a bit of additional tax revenue due to this little change and people can live with it.

If the law changes to make employers have to tax 25 percent of the cost of the cell phone the accounting costs alone will make it no longer practical for employers to provide cell phones to employees. The government would ultimately lose money hand over fist due to the lost standard regulatory charges and taxes they put on cell phones. The government makes a minimum of 3 dollars per month for every cell phone out there. You make it cost prohibitive for employers to provide cell phones to their employees and you'll lose at a minimum 30 million lines within 2 years. My guess is that the government makes somewhere around 8 bucks a month per phone line per month on average, maybe more. With that said the government would ultimately lose 240 million dollars per month and spend millions more just trying to enforce this.

So.. Is the government trying to be a smart business? Or is the government further proving itself to be a self destructive greed monger that can't keep its hand out of the cookie jar even if the cookies cost more then they are worth.

This issue hits home. I'm in the wireless business and this will greatly impact my family if it passes. To me this is just a cheap shot at an industry that hasn't been impacted by the recession. Rather then leave the industry alone and allow it to flourish without government assistance the government wants to screw it over. This could also be the governments way of responding to the fact that it tried offering the big 3 wireless carriers stimulus money and they shot them down because they didn't need the money nor want the government to have an excuse to create more regulation.
 

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If you think PDA's won't be next, yiou're a fool.

Also being discussed is the $$$ your employer pays for your medical insurance, YOU paying taxes on it. That's about 12K in addl. income I do not get, that I will pay 3-4K in taxes on.
Didn't a certain presidential candidate offer something along those lines? Only his plan gave each family a very good sized annual tax credit and employer paid healthcare costs that exceeded a certain dollar amount would be taxed?

I believe that candidate was ridiculed for his plan and it was brought up in the debates.
 
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