February 11, 2019
The tax man wants details on how you’re using your phone: MobilityView says it has the solution
As tax season approaches, accounting departments will have another new challenge to calculate a line item related to cell phones and internet services provided to employees, and a Toronto-based software firm says it can help crunch the numbers.
According to an advisory issued in November, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is asking employers to do more to distinguish between when wireless or internet services provided to workers are actually used for work versus for personal use. The distinction will be important to determine when the employee should pay a taxable benefit, and the onus is on the employer to show the percentage used for work.
MobilityView, founded in 2014 by CEO Thom Damstra, is sounding the clarion call about the new CRA requirements. It also says it has the only software available on the market that can help businesses meet those requirements. Using the software is an alternative to businesses locking down corporate phones entirely, not allowing employees to conduct any personal activities on them.
“The only way for the company to not pay for that personal usage is to lock down that phone,” Damstra says in an interview. “Then the employee will say ‘I’m not carrying two phones, so take the phone back.’ Additionally, the Canada Revenue Agency will still require the employer to prove that there is no personal usage; and it’s virtually impossible to prevent an employee from making or taking a personal call or personal SMS.”