To Home Page To Home Page
General Description
Requirements
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Attachments
Subject Experts
Cell Phone Reimbursement Policy
Policy

Document Number: UNIV--109 Revision #:
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 05/22/2014
Primary Author: VP for Business and Finance Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 04/04/2014

General Description
Description:

Information about the University cell phone reimbursement policy.


Purpose:

Delineation of policy.


Scope:

All faculty, staff, and administrators


Responsibility: Administration
Director of IT
VP of Business and Finance

Back to Top

Requirements
Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy
Standards of good practice
Standard company policies

Terms and Definitions: Corrective Action

Loss of privelege, staff

Back to Top

Policy Provisions
1.

Reimbursement for Employee Owned Devices and Employee Provided Data Services

 


· This policy provides ongoing monthly reimbursements for employees who frequently need to use their own communication device(s) for business purposes.  Reimbursements will be made monthly through payroll.

· The employee may choose the device and service plan he or she wishes to use. The arrangement is between the employee and the provider; the University is not involved in the contract with the provider. 

· The ongoing monthly reimbursement amounts are determined by the approving supervisor, based upon his or her judgment of the expected campus required usage. The approving supervisor may not use the reimbursement as a salary supplement. The University will not reimburse an amount greater than the employee’s current service plan. The employee must certify to the University that the reimbursement amount is not greater than the employee’s current service plan.

· Reimbursement begins in the month the reimbursement form is received and approved if this occurs between the first and 15th of the month.  If the form is received the 16th through the last day of the month, the reimbursement will begin the following month.  

· Reimbursements for ongoing monthly services are University pre-established ranges. Such requests must be supported by plan and cost documentation and must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and area Vice President.

· These reimbursement levels will be reviewed annually to determine if they adequately compensate for the cost of University business usage.  All adjustments to the reimbursement levels will be recommended by the Vice President for Finance and approved by the President’s Executive Committee.

 


2.

Responsibilities


 

 


2.1

Approving Supervisor


It is the responsibility of the approving supervisor to do the following:

· Determine the appropriate communication device,  reimbursement amount necessary for the employee to perform the expected business tasks;

· Review the University reimbursements annually to determine if adjustments are necessary;

· Provide the necessary documentation to accounts payable on a timely basis to renew the reimbursement; notify accounts payable when an employee terminates or no longer is required to carry a cell phone for University business.

 


2.2

Accounting Office


The Accounting Office is responsible for ensuring that departmental reimbursement requests for expenditures related to the use of communication devices are made in accordance with the procedures set forth in this policy.

 


2.3

Employees


· The employee should notify his or her supervisor if the business service level increases or decreases dramatically.

· The employee must notify the supervisor immediately if the employee discontinues his or her communications device plan while receiving the reimbursement.

· The employee must certify annually to the University that the monthly reimbursement amount does not exceed the employee’s service plan.

· The employee shall provide his or her contact number to the University.  The employee shall promptly notify the University if the number changes.

· The employee is required to provide adequate documentation as listed in the Procedures portion of this policy.

· The employee is expected to avoid using the communication device under any circumstances where such use might create or appear to create a hazard.  Usage of a communications device in a motor vehicle must be in compliance with current University policies, state laws and federal laws.


2.4

Data Security and Confidentiality


Billing statements that are provided as support for reimbursements for business use through reimbursement can potentially be subject to disclosure.


3.

Procedures for University Reimbursement for Cell Phones


3.1

Criteria for Reimbursement


The approving supervisor should use the following criteria in evaluating the business-related reason for providing a reimbursement for employees whose jobs entail the following responsibilities:

· Travel – Employees who frequently travel or are out of the office and need to be in contact with students, faculty and staff, managers, or other University stakeholders.

· Work Location – Employees who typically work in the field or at job sites where access to communication devices are not readily available.

· Emergency Response – Employees who need to be contacted and/or respond in the event of an emergency or are required to be available during non-business hours


3.2

Determining the Amount of Monthly Reimbursement


Follow these steps to determine the reimbursement’s dollar range (low, medium, high, or other) and amount:

 

· Estimate the number of minutes per month the employee is likely to use for business-related calls. Use any history that may be available for the employee’s position.

· Determine monthly job-related costs using projected per-minute cost and projected number of minutes necessary for business use. For example, the University reserves the right to specify the capabilities of the wireless device per the employee job description.

· Employee must certify annually that the reimbursement amount does not exceed the employee’s basic monthly service plan. If the basic monthly service plan drops below the reimbursement amount, the employee must contact his supervisor  and adjust the reimbursement amount.

· There is no requirement to obtain a second phone if the employee already has a personal cell phone.

· Costs for the device and cosmetic or technical extras or upgrades not business related should not be included in the estimate.

· Estimate the costs for the fiscal year (June 1 through May 31) or the remainder of the fiscal year, if the request is mid-year.

· Reimbursements are not a means of providing additional compensation to employee and must follow the guidelines above.

· Ongoing monthly reimbursement levels for electronic communication device service plans are established as follows: ($50 or less; for coaches, admissions, directors, deans), Medium ($75 or less ; for Vice Presidents) and High ($130 or less, for President). Under no circumstances should these levels exceed the employee’s basic monthly service plan.


3.3

Establishing a Reimbursement


Reimbursements expire at the end of each fiscal year (i.e. May 31) and must be renewed by June 15 th of the upcoming fiscal year in order to ensure continuous reimbursement disbursement.  

 

The employee should complete the Employee Agreement for Reimbursements of Electronic Device/Services form (Attached) in consultation with his or her supervisor.  Sign and send the original of the Employee Agreement for  Reimbursements of Electronic Devices/Services form (Attached) to the area Vice President who will forward them to accounts payable for processing.   Forms must be submitted by the 15 th of the month to be included in the current month’s disbursement.  


3.4

Tax Issues


The employee’s reimbursement is non- taxable income and will not be reported on the employee’s W-2.  Reimbursements must not exceed the amount of the employee’s service plan or they may become fully taxable.     


3.5

Reimbursement Payment to Employee


The reimbursement does not constitute an increase in base pay.


3.6

Personal Use


The cell phone service is personally owned and may therefore be used for both personal and business calls. An employee with a cellular telephone reimbursement must maintain an active cell phone contract for the life of the reimbursement.

 

Using a phone or other communication devices in ways inconsistent with University policy, local laws, state laws or federal laws will result in immediate cancellation of the communications device reimbursement.


3.7

Purchase of Communication Device Equipment


The employee is responsible for the purchase of the communication device. The University will not pay for the communication device.


3.8

Employee Agreement


Before receiving any reimbursement payments, an employee must sign an agreement acknowledging the purpose of the reimbursement  and his or her responsibilities and make the certification that the reimbursement amount does not exceed the employee’s basic service plan. (Attachment: Employee Agreement for  Reimbursements of Electronic Devices/Services).


3.9

Deactivation of Reimbursement


Complete the Employee Agreement for Reimbursements of Electronic Device/Services (Attachment).

 

The approving supervisor should complete the form, specify deactivation, and forward to accounts payable for processing.  Forms must be submitted by the 15 th of the final month of service.


3.10

Department Responsibilities and Documentation Requirements


The department must maintain a file containing the following documents:

 

· Original Employee Agreement for  Reimbursements of Electronic Devices/Services (Attachment).

 

It is the authorizing supervisor’s responsibility to do the following:

 

· Annually review communication device needs in his or her department to determine if reimbursements should be changed, continued, discontinued, or if additional reimbursements are needed;

· Obtain annual certifications from employees that the reimbursement amount does not exceed the service plan amount.

· Complete reimbursement renewal authorizations by June 15, and;

· Notify accounts payable if the employee no longer requires a reimbursement due to responsibility changes or termination.


4.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Is my cell phone reimbursement taxable?

No, The IRS considers electronic communication devices to be “a working condition fringe benefit, the value of which is excludable from the employee’s income. As such, the IRS requires the employee must maintain the type of cell phone coverage that is reasonably related to the needs of the employer’s business, and the reimbursement must be reasonably calculated so as not to exceed expenses the employee actually incurred in maintaining the cell phone.  Reimbursements must not exceed the amount of the employee’s service plan or they may become fully taxable.

 

2. How do I receive a reimbursement for my electronic device and or service plan?

Complete and submit the employee agreement for reimbursement of electronic device/service form obtaining the proper approval signatures.  This form will be submitted annually to Accounting Services no later than June 15th.  Reimbursements expire at the end of each fiscal year (i.e. May 31).

 

3. How and when will my reimbursement be issued?

Payment will be made per month and issued as a reimbursement included in the regularly scheduled payroll check. The reimbursement begins in the month the form is received and approved if this occurs between the first day and the 15th day of the month.  If the form is received the 16th through the last day of the month, reimbursement begins the following month.

 

4. How does my department get expensed for my electronic device?

Upon receipt of your approved reimbursement form accounts payable will add your department account to be charged each month during the fiscal year for which the reimbursement has been requested and remains valid and forward to payroll for processing.   Accounts payable needs to be notified immediately of any changes to your reimbursement.

 

5. How do I determine my reimbursement amount?

Ongoing monthly reimbursement amounts are determined by the approving supervisor, based upon his or her judgment of the expected campus required usage.  The reimbursement may not be used as a salary supplement and the University will not reimburse an amount greater than the employee’s current service plan.  Monthly reimbursement levels for electronic communication device service plans are established as follows: ($50 or less; for coaches, admissions, directors, deans), Medium ($75 or less; for Vice Presidents) and High ($130 or less, for President).

An employee will be required to certify to the University that the reimbursement amount is not greater than the employee’s current plan.

 

6. Can my cell phone be used for personal use?

The cell phone service is personally owned and may therefore be used for both personal and business calls. An employee with a cellular telephone reimbursement must maintain an active cell phone contract for the life of the reimbursement. Using a phone or other communication devices in ways inconsistent with University policy, local laws, state laws or federal laws will result in immediate cancellation of the communications device stipend.

 

7. Do I qualify for a University owned device/service plan?

This plan is reserved for employees whose accessibility is required for public safety and emergency services..  All University-provided devices shall be used for business-related purposes only. University-owned devices should not be used for personal reasons.

 

8. As an approving supervisor of an employee reimbursement for cell phone what is my responsibility?

· Annually review communication device needs in his or her department to determine if reimbursements should be changed, continued, discontinued, or if additional reimbursements are needed

· Obtain annual certifications from employees that the reimbursement amount does not exceed the service plan amount.

· Complete reimbursement renewal authorizations by June 15, and;

· Notify the appropriate departments if the employee no longer requires a reimbursement due to responsibility changes or termination.

 

9. As a Vice President what is my responsibility?

You are responsible for ensuring that the appropriate business need device level and requests for reimbursement are within this policy and include the appropriate supporting documentation.  


Back to Top

Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure

Consequences: Further training
Loss of priveleges

Back to Top

Attachments
Cell Phone Agreement
Click to display Click to display

Back to Top

Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Director of Information Technology

Executive VP

VP for Business and Finance

Back to Top

This page created 10/30/2014 using Zavanta® version 6.0