One option to consider is a technology allowance based on position
and responsibilities that would cover cell phone, DSL/cable, pager,
etc. The amount of the allowance is determined by position
requirements and devices required. This allows the employee the
flexibility to choose service, extended options, etc but it relieves
the institution from audit requirements. The down side is that the
amount is taxed but it is a much cleaner solution.
University System of Georgia.
On Feb 4, 2006, at 12:49 PM, Griffin, Erin wrote:
> We're facing the same issue at LMU, and I don't have any good answers,
> so I'll join you in expressing our concerns. Our financial people are
> approaching the situation by implementing a charge to any employee who
> has a University-provided cell phone, irrespective of whether it is
> for personal calling. This provides a hardship to employees at the
> lower end of the wage spectrum, and I believe it's inappropriate at
> to charge an employee for a tool you require them to use. Pagers are
> far less useful for on-call support staff, so to revert to that
> technology seems wrong.
> I'll look for creative solutions from the list.
> Erin Griffin
> Asst. Vice President for Information Technology
> Loyola Marymount University
> From: Kincaid, Scott [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Sat 2/4/2006 9:33 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CIO] On Call Cell Phones & IRS
> How are others handle providing cell phones to on-call IT staff?
> At Butler, I provide university-funded cell phones to those IT
> staff on
> call and we eliminated beepers and use of radios while on campus.
> can use cell phones for personal calls at no charge provided they
> do not
> exceed the base plan (else they reimburse us). Given the off-hours
> and access I get from the staff, it has been a good investment. I
> have read with interest other past postings on this listserv from
> univesities how this was disliked by many for political reasons,
> which I
> can see. But sperately...
> Now the finance folks indicate the IRS is now wanting to treat
> company-provided cell phones as TAXable benefit to employees and
> IRS is
> wanting detailed documentation on personal vs business use, an
> administrative nightmear! They believe ANY personal use must be
> as taxable benefit. Understandably, finance office leans toward
> no longer providing free cell phones.
> I'd like to know how schools handle cell phones for on call staff.
> University provided "free" phones? None, just part of employee
> responsibility to have? Cash reimbursement to employees when they
> provide detailed records? Or do your provide on-call/cell phone
> via payroll? Are others seeing IRS tighted policies?
> Thanks much!
> Scott Kincaid
> Butler University
> P.S. A Utah college has info on their web site I found interesting...
> Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
> Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.