U.S. Wants Cell Phone Tax Law Repealed

The Obama administration is asking Congress to repeal a widely ignored tax on the personal use of company cell phones. Doug Shulman, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, said the 1989 law had been rendered obsolete by the passage of time and technological advances.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


One brief but significant update in a story we brought you yesterday. We reported on efforts by the IRS to enforce a 1989 law regarding company-issued cell phones.

The law requires workers to count the value of their calls on those phones as personal income unless they keep records proving the phone was used only for work. Sounds complicated; and no wonder, the law has been basically been ignored.


Well now, the Obama administration wants it repealed. Today, the IRS said that the 1989 law is obsolete and will lead to widespread confusion and that you should suffer no tax consequences for personal calls on your company-issued phone.

(Soundbite of music)

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Related NPR Stories



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.