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Are Corporate Provided Smart Phones A Taxable Benefit?

July 8, 2019

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Telecommunications and taxes are inseparable. In the United States a tax and surcharge burden of 20% to 40% or more on a telecom invoice is not uncommon.

There’s another type of tax for employers to consider, though, when providing cell phones and similar telecom devices to employees – the fringe benefit tax. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updates guidance on fringe benefits periodically, and cell phones are addressed in “IRS Publication 15-B (2019), Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits.”

There are two key items to consider before answering the question – Is a corporate provided cell phone/smart phone/telecom device a taxable fringe benefit?

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