NPR logo

IRS Proposes Tax On Work Cell Phone Use

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/105438562/105438551" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
IRS Proposes Tax On Work Cell Phone Use

Interviews

IRS Proposes Tax On Work Cell Phone Use

IRS Proposes Tax On Work Cell Phone Use

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/105438562/105438551" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Internal Revenue Service has announced an effort to enforce a 1989 law that requires workers with company-issued cell phones to count the value of their calls as personal income.

The law makes an exception, however, for those employees who keep detailed records showing the phone was used only for work.

"One of the ways (this would work) is that they would simply say 25 percent of your usage of the cell phone that you got from your work would be deemed personal calls, and the 75 percent would be deemed business use," says Martin Vaughan, reporter for Dow Jones Newswire, who has been following the story.

He says that if employees can show they maintain a personal cell phone, their work phone would then be totally deductible to the business and not taxable to them.

A final decision is not expected until the fall.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.