IRS: Cell phones provided to physicians and employees by the medical practice

In an information letter addressed to U.S. Representative Dennis Moore, an IRS Branch Chief discussed the proper tax treatment of employer-provided cell phones. An employer can exclude the value of an employee's use of a cell phone from the employee's income if it "has some method of requiring the employee to keep records that distinguish business from personal phone charges." The employer must include the value of any personal usage in the employee's wages. Personal use includes individual personal calls, as well as a prorata share of monthly service charges. IRC Sec. 274(d) requires the employee to keep a record of each call and its business purpose. If the employee does not use the cell phone to make personal calls or has only minimal personal usage, the business use of the phone is not taxable to the employee. INFO 2007-0030.

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