May 13, 2019
Global Tax Authorities Now Focussed On Going After Personal Usage Of Cellphones
Tax laws have changed to force businesses and all workers to provide evidence of business use of wireless devices
Toronto,13th May 2019 – Governments around the world are struggling to close the gap between taxes raised and money spent on public services. Top marginal tax brackets and sales taxes are already maximized. The result is that Tax Authorities are now going after historically untaxed taxable benefits. Tax authorities are increasingly focused on the personal use of wireless devices, such as smartphones and tablets. They have recognized that the vast majority of usage on these devices has little business purpose.
Effective January 1st 2018, America’s IRS (Internal Revenue Service) now requires a ‘mileage book’ for mobile or wireless phones and wireless subscription plans. In the past, workers have been required to keep a record of miles travelled for business purposes, or a ‘mileage book’, for an employee’s car. Now, this is also required for wireless devices, see here. Only the substantiated business usage down to the individual call, text message and packet of data may be deducted as a legitimate business deduction. Without this substantiation, it is illegal to claim a single penny of cellphone costs as a legitimate business deduction.
“Effective January 1st 2018 there have been significant changes to the Tax Code that affect every employee and employer in the country,” said Jeff Schnepper, America’s leading, if not number one, tax planning expert for the last 35 years.“A solution like mobilityView is the best tool that can keep employers and employees tax compliant as it pertains to the specific changes in the Tax Code around cell phone and portable computer deductions. I was so impressed that they are featured in the 36th edition of my best selling book ‘How to Pay Zero Taxes’.”
The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has revised the language for cell phones. Every employer is now required to calculate the individual personal usage and cost for phones, and wireless subscription plans. Given the criteria specified, all Canadian employers are required to use a solution like mobilityView’s MCM (Mobile Cost Management) Platform in order to calculate the personal usage and cost at the individual employee level. Details may be found here.
Testimony received by mobilityView: “In 2016, I went through an audit by the CRA for my business expenses submitted. Among my various expenses, I included my smartphone charges. I only carry one cell phone in which I use this phone as my only business phone number. I also use this phone for business emails, text messaging, GPS and web browsing. Since I only have one phone, I use this for personal and business as well. After the audit, CRA had declined my cell expense completely. Looking back, if I could have filtered my personal use from my business use, I would have a much stronger case for CRA to except my cell phone expenses. The mobilityView platform could be a very valuable tool to assist in this situation,” said Joe [Last Name Withheld]
In the UK there have been a series of recent developments on the cellphone tax issue. “A couple of years ago, I joined a technology company based in London, UK. To my surprise, I was informed that I could not use my personal mobile phone for business purposes, nor could I sign up for a voice/data-combined package. My employer had been informed by HMRC that they could risk losing the ability to deduct the employee mobile phone tax credits, if they could not clearly show business usage and expenses vs personal expenses. In the end, I had two phones, two numbers and two very different plans. mobilityView would have simplified my mobile usage, and would have saved the company a significant amount of money, as we were unable to use the most cost-effective data plans,” said Owen [Last Name Withheld]
mobilityView – the leading provider of mobile data platforms for mobile smart devices (smartphones and tablets),was invited in October of 2018 into the most elite FinTech incubator in Germany. KPMG are very excited about mobilityView’s growing portfolio of products to address tax compliancy in Germany, see here. We understand this is also on the books in a number of countries throughout Europe. Another example is the change to the Dutch tax code that went into affect January 1st2015, if a mobile phone and/or wireless plan is provided to the employee 100% of the cost of the phone and/or plan is taxable in the employee’s name – unless business and personal splits can be demonstrated.
The MCM (Mobile Cost Management) Platform is an enterprise cloud service for all sizes of business (Soho, SMB, Multi-national Corporations) to manage wireless device fleets, enabling companies to only pay for business usage of mobile assets. All mobile fleet configurations (COPE, CYOD, BYOD, Stipend, etc.) are supported, resolves taxable-benefit-use associated with personal use and requires no wireless operator integration (OTT – Over-The-Top solution). “We put at customers’ fingertips more information about usage of their mobile or wireless devices than even their Wireless Telecom Providers can deliver to them. We are also the first solution that can determine business from personal use across all usage types (voice, SMS/MMS and data) and regardless of whether it is Wi-Fi or a wireless network and all roaming scenarios. In fact, we work on every Wireless Telecom Operator’s network in the world – we are completely Operator agnostic,” says mobilityView CEO, Thom Damstra.
The MCM Platform is a business solution with some big wins for enterprise customers:
- Reduce mobile costs by as much as 70%
- Provide greater business usage detail and analysis than ever before – ever second, every SMS, and every byte of data
- No more bill shocks – real time data and analytics with next generation alerting
- Reduce the costs of managing mobile device fleets, both capital and manpower
- Future proof a company, and their employees, against tax compliancy risk
“mobilityView is at the epicentre of where all key global tech trends converge - wireless, big data, analytics, cloud computing, IoT (Internet of Things), CoIT (consumerization of IT), BYOD, OTT (over-the-top) play and enterprise mobility,” says Thom Damstra, CEO of mobilityView. “Our globally unique platform allows any business secure access to real-time data and analytics directly from wireless devices in a fashion independent of the wireless operator network.”
“Real-time mobile smart device based data is always 100% useful, applicable and relevant to business problem solving. mobilityView adheres to Privacy by Design (PbD) principals, which has been adopted at the core of the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) legislation. This changes the current privacy paradigm, by empowering the users of the system to be in control of their own personal privacy. Ask any CIO or corporate IT department and they will tell you their current IT systems do not deliver this today,” said Thom Damstra, CEO of mobilityView.
About Jeff A. Schnepper
Jeff A. Schnepper (Cherry Hill, NJ) is the author of multiple books on finance and taxation, including all previous editions of ‘How to Pay Zero Taxes’. He is a financial, tax, and legal advisor for Estate Planning of Delaware Valley and operates a tax, accounting, and legal practice in Cherry Hill, NJ.
He has been invited to the White House to consult in tax law changes and has testified multiple times before the Senate Finance Committee and The House Ways & Means Committee. He was Microsoft’s MSN Tax Expert for 16 years and is economic editor for USA Today and tax counsel for Haran, Watson & Company.
mobilityView’s Smart Business Insight (SBI) Platform drives a series of uncorrelated solutions, which all deliver quantifiable and unambiguous digital transformation. The solutions are applicable for businesses of all sizes, as a function of data-driven insights from mobile smart devices (smart phones, phablets, tablets, etc.). mobilityView exists to drive business process change that results in accelerating the achievement of profitability.
mobilityView enables any business to align mobile smart devices to business goals and objectives, to drive efficiency and profitability, an increased measurable sales and marketing engagement effectiveness with customers. mobilityView transforms mobile smart devices into powerful strategic assets driving measurable productivity improvements and lower costs for a leaner, more competitive, business.
mobilityView enables businesses to gain insight, understand mobile spend, reduce mobile costs and simplify mobile expenses, to ensure tax compliance, while putting end users in control of their own privacy. For enterprises to be data-driven, customer centric, have the right ideas and make the right decisions.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, mobilityView was incorporated in 2014, with an impressive Board of Directors, very knowledgeable of enterprise mobility, focused on growth and good governance. To find out more, please visit our website at https://www.mobilityview.comBack