This policy applies to all state and self-supporting operations, except the separate campus 501(c)3 auxiliary organizations which include the University Center, Sponsored Programs Foundation, Advancement Foundation and Associated Students. The auxiliary organizations have their own governing boards which set policy for their organization.
This process applies to employees who have been required by the University to carry a wireless device so as to be available to the University while away from campus and/or to use a wireless device as an integral tool in performing their assigned duties. Examples of wireless communication devices are cell phones and personal digital assistants.
The decision of whether an employee is required to be available while away from campus and use a wireless device is decided by the President or Vice President, or his or her administrative designee. The administrator will complete a mandatory authorization form that provides specific information concerning the required usage. The form is titled, "Authorization for Business-Related Wireless Device."
Compliance with Tax Law
The IRS Tax Code characterizes wireless devices as “Listed Property” which imposes stringent, detailed recordkeeping requirements, particularly if there are components of business and personal use. Under the tax regulations, deductions for expenses attributable to the business use of wireless devices are disallowed unless it can be substantiated by adequate records. In addition, this substantiation rule does not permit an employer to adopt “de minimis” personal use policies; therefore, each monthly billing must be reviewed for personal use, reimbursed by the employee, and documents retained by the campus. If sufficient records are not kept, the value of the benefits must be included in the employee’s gross income and treated as wages for tax purposes.
If the employee owns the wireless device, the “Listed Property” requirements do not apply.
For those employees who have been assigned to carry a wireless device, the University offers several options. The decision regarding which option to use will be determined collaboratively between the employee and his or her administrator. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the default will be the University-owned device (Option 1) which shall be issued on a shift-by-shift basis, and prohibits personal use.
Option Two: Personally-owned Device with Ongoing Usage
All wireless devices under this option are the personal property of the employee. Changes in service for personal use are the employee’s responsibility. In addition, the employee will retain the phone number if he or she separates from the University.
The expense allowance, which is a non-accountable plan, is reportable as taxable income on the employee’s W-2. Each employee retains the allowance payment and is not obligated to refund the allowance to the University if employee separates, changes job duties, or transfers to a new position.
Option Three: Personally-owned Device with Infrequent Usage
Wireless devices under this option are the personal property of the employee. The occasional use of personal wireless devices for work-related purposes is no different than the occasional use of other personal equipment (e.g. a land line at home). Business wireless expenses are considered infrequent and incidental. (Note: Ongoing assignments requiring wireless use for business should select Option 1 or 2.)
Consistent with long-standing reimbursement policies, if the occasional use has a cost and the employee is able to support that cost with the appropriate invoice documentation from the service provider, with department approval, the employee may submit a claim for reimbursement for that particular and specific use of the employee’s personal equipment. Employees will be reimbursed for the portion of the monthly plan related to business usage, plus they will be reimbursed for the actual cost of roaming, overage and other miscellaneous charges resulting from business usage.
Examples include media relations crisis support staff, temporary special event staff used for weekend events, and business related wireless calls made during business travel.
In order to request reimbursement: