Cellular Phone Policy and Procedures
This policy will
simplify the cell phone program, and result in each user having both
freedom of choice and personal responsibility for his or her cell phone
plan. It will also enable Wesleyan to comply with IRS rules regarding the
taxability of employee cell phones.
The IRS considers
cell phones to be “listed property.” As such, it requires detailed record
keeping (IRS Section 274(d) (4), including (a) the amount of the expense,
(b) the time and place of call, and (c) the business purpose for the call.
The IRS can declare that all undocumented use is personal and should be
taxed as wages, even if the calls were mostly business calls. Receiving a
taxable allowance for an individually owned cell phone removes this detailed
The university will
not own cell phones for the use of individual employees except in limited
situations that require specific equipment or similar technology to perform
university functions (e.g. public safety, physical plant, etc.). As
always, these cell phones are not intended for personal use, and therefore,
may be taxable.
Employees whose job
duties include the frequent need for a cell phone may receive extra
compensation, in the form of a cell phone allowance, to cover
business-related costs. All other employees may submit infrequent
business-related cell phone expenses for individual reimbursement.
I. Frequent Use of
Cell Phones for Business Purposes
A. Establishment and
Payment of Allowance
If a supervisor
determines that a university employee's job duties include the frequent need
for a cell phone, then the employee is eligible for an allowance to cover
cell phone expenses. It may be requested using the
Allowance Request Form.
The request may be made any time during the fiscal year. This will be paid
monthly via payroll from your department’s account. The
monthly stipend is taxable income; therefore the individual will be
taxed according to the IRS code.
does not constitute an increase to base pay, and will not be included in the
calculation of percentage increases to base pay due to annual raises, job
upgrades, bonuses, benefits based on a percentage of salary, etc.
allowance is taxable, it is believed that the benefits to the employee
outweigh the costs. The benefits include: 1) a log is not required; 2) no
monthly reporting is required; 3) phones may be used for personal calls and
be combined or enhanced with other personal plans.
appropriate senior staff members must approve the cell phone allowance.
The following guidelines identify a need for a cell phone and access to the
cell phone allowance:
- Safety requirements
indicate having cellular phone is an integral part of performing duties of
- More than 50% of work is
conducted in the field.
- Required to be contacted on
a regular basis.
- Required to be on-call
- Critical decision maker
responsible for an annual review of employee business-related cell-phone
use, to determine if existing cell phone allowances should be continued
as-is, changed, or discontinued. Please contact Nathan Peters if there
are any changes to the allowance.
B. Determination of
Dollar Amount of Allowance
The dollar amount of
the cell phone allowance should cover the employee's projected
business-related expenses. These expenses are the cost of basic equipment,
and the cost of the employee's monthly cell phone plan. The plan chosen
should be the least expensive that provides adequate business-related
services. Upgrades to basic equipment (special cosmetic or technical
features, etc.) or expected cell phone use unrelated to business is at the
employee’s expense. Determination of the dollar amount of the allowance is
made at the department level by the supervisor, but must be within the
guidelines and dollar limits established under this policy.
* The One-time
equipment purchase is based on a 2 year contract and is provided at time of
new contract (documentation required). Lost or broken equipment will be the
responsibility of the employee after initial purchase.
Wesleyan will pay
only the agreed upon cell phone allowance even if monthly costs exceed the
allowance. If the amount of the allowance subsidy needs to be changed
because of documented business purposes, you will need to ask your
supervisor to adjust the cell phone allowance and submit a new approved
The cell phone
contract will be in the name of the Wesleyan faculty or staff member who
will be solely responsible for all payments to the service provider. Only
one cell phone allowance will be provided per faculty or staff member. The
university reserves the right to remove a participant from this plan if
there is insufficient budget in the designated fund to meet the cost of
Wesleyan corporate cards or departmental
accounts will no longer be allowed for monthly service cell phone fees or
for related equipment purchases except in limited situations.
C. Use of Phone
Wesleyan does not
accept any liability for claims, charges or disputes between the service
provider and the faculty or staff member. Recipients of a cell phone
allowance must notify Wesleyan of the cell phone number and must continue to
maintain the cell phone while in receipt of the allowance.
Because the cell
phone is owned personally by the employee, and the allowance provided is
taxable income, the employee may use the phone for both business and
personal purposes, as needed. The employee may, at his or her own expense,
add extra services or equipment features, as desired. If there are problems
with service, the faculty or staff member will need to work directly with
the carrier for resolution. ITS will continue to support Blackberry/PDA
users with email and calendar functionality.
Use of the phone in
any manner contrary to local, state, or federal laws will constitute misuse,
and will result in immediate termination of the cell phone allowance.
D. Fees for Contract
Changes or Cancellations
If, prior to the end
of the cell phone contract, a personal decision by the employee, or employee
misconduct, or misuse of the phone, results in the need to end or change the
cell phone contract, the employee will bear the cost of any fees associated
with that change or cancellation.
If, prior to the end
of the cell phone contract period, a departmental decision (unrelated to
employee misconduct) results in the need to end or change the cell phone
contract, the department will bear the cost of any fees associated with that
change or cancellation. For example, the employee's supervisor has changed
the employee's duties and the cell phone is no longer needed for business
purposes. If the employee does not want to retain the current contract,
change or cancellation fees will be reimbursed by the department.
current university cell phones will need to review cancellation policies and
costs before implementing the new policy.
for Business Calls on Personal Wireless Phone
If a university
employee's job duties do not include the frequent need for a cell phone, the
employee is not eligible for an allowance or a Wesleyan provided cell phone.
Such employees may request reimbursement for the actual extra expenses of
business cell phone calls. Reimbursement for per-minute "air time"
charges is limited to the total overage charge shown on the invoice;
expenses for minutes included in the plan will not be reimbursed. The
individual should make personal payment to the provider, and then should
submit a request for reimbursement.
If personal use
typically exceeds business use on a wireless phone, the employee should
provide his/her own phone and submit reimbursement requests for business
calls. A copy of the wireless phone bill, detailing the individual calls
to be reimbursed, needs to accompany the reimbursement request. Although
most wireless carriers do not include detailed phone records in their
monthly statements, the information is readily available on-line from most
major providers. Reimbursement documentation should identify the
Please submit the completed form to Nathan Peters, Room 400 North College.
Contact Nathan Peters at x2833
or email@example.com if you have questions regarding the policy.
July 5, 2007