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  • IRS to Tax Employer-Provided Cell Phones

    The Obama Administration’s desperation for new revenue to feed its massive spending appetite is becoming more apparent every day.

    The latest tax hike proposal, this time from the IRS, is to tax 25 percent of the value of employer-provided cell phones or Blackberries.

    The rationale is that workers use employer-provided phones to make or receive personal calls, and Blackberries to send and receive personal emails. As such, they should pay taxes on the value of these personal usages, because they are a form of income.

    It is unclear how the IRS determined that 25 percent of cell phone and Blackberry usage is personal.

    A law from the 1980s already on the books requires employees to pay taxes on their use of employer-provided cell phones unless they can document that their usage of the phone is for work only.

    The IRS has never collected this tax, however, most likely because of its high cost of enforcement. Collecting the tax now will not be less complicated.

    And as the Wall Street Journal sardonically points out, taxing employees on their work cell phones could be a slippery slope:

    What’s next? Maybe a per-cup tax on office coffee, or targeting furtive visits to ESPN or Hulu on the office PC? As one wag put it on the Journal’s web site, ‘It’s like charging for the use of the company washroom.’

    Employees get company cell phones and Blackberries for the convenience of their employers to contact them any time day or night. And they increase efficiency because workers can be in contact with the office and co-workers at any time, from anywhere.

    Levying a tax on cell phones and Blackberries will lower efficiency, because workers unwilling to pay the new tax will stop accepting them from their employers.

    Congress should put a stop to this tax hike on workers and cut spending to make similarly frivolous revenue grabs unnecessary.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    22 Responses to IRS to Tax Employer-Provided Cell Phones

    1. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      We need to put a stop to Obama Congress to rescue America.

    2. DJ, CA says:

      Maybe we should charge the politicions tax on all there blackberrys and cell phones from the bills the taxes payer. This alone would help with the debt. Maybe the polititcions should get busy looking at cutting there spending and stop look at the american tax payer.

    3. JC, Florida says:

      DJ has it right – where is the open book policy BHO proclaimed during his candidacy?

      One pledge I would like to see from the Renewed Contract With America is forcing Congress to disclose where every $ goes from the American Taxpayer.

      They work for us, not us for them!

      I want to know where my money goes and then I want to be able to tell them how to spend it and how much pay they get and what perks they are entitled to.

      We need to demand this! Let the revolution begin!

    4. Pingback: » Financial News Update - 06/15/09 NoisyRoom.net: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the face of tyranny is no virtue.” Barry Goldwater

    5. Cristine says:

      This is insane. Yet another great tax created by our "Socialist" President. I can not believe that they still all America a Democratic State. All who voted for Mr. B H Obama should have to pay all of these silly taxes and reforms he is introducing so that u all learn that sometimes, the grass truely is NOT greener on the other side.

    6. Laura, Rochester NY says:

      Fabulous! And this on a day when I just heard on the radio an ad urging people to take advantage of "free phones from the government" for food stamp recipients and Medicaid folks. Free phones, free minutes every month, caller ID, call waiting included. See safelink.com. Definitely transferring the wealth…

    7. Dave, Florida says:

      Maybe we need to tax Nancy Pelosi on her use of Air Force aircraft. That would go of President Obama on his recent trip to New York, he should pay the tax on the value of a private aircraft ride from Washington DC to New York.

    8. Gloria, Elizabeth Ci says:

      Ladies and Gentlemen,

      We're getting what YOU voted for!!! Unless we do something fast, this kind of nonsense will not stop! When will we wake up and take our politicians to task? Why do "WE THE PEOPLE" let them get away with this? I'm with the JC – Let the revolution begin!!!

    9. Daver Ft. Worth says:

      It is often claimed as a defense against the Death Penalty, better to let 50 guilty go free than to punish one innocent man.

      Apparently this tax is subject to the opposite logic. Some are guilty–therefore all should pay!

      I'm not guilty–I will not pay a cent!!

      You cannot tax away my Liberty!!

    10. Charles says:

      More and more we are feeding the govt our money. They do work for and we need to fire a bunch of them. There is no reason why we pay rich people such high salaries.

    11. Ben C, Ann Arbor, MI says:

      I remember when, I think it was Carter, tried to disallow business lunch meetings dubbed "the three martini lunch." The principle was not lunch expenses, rather it was to take away an incentive for owning a business. Remember, it is Small Business, not Big Business that is the largest employer (the Federal Government is the single largest employer). I am a Small Business employer and if the "perks" are continuously removed there will be little reason for me to continue my business – too much aggrivation with very little reward.

    12. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Although a little before his time, Mr Obama has reprised an old John Lennon hit:

      Let me tell you how it will be, there's one for you, nineteen for me.

      If five percent appears to small, be thankful I don't take it all.

      'Cause I'm the Taxman, yeah, I'm the Taxman.

      If you drive a car I'll tax the street;

      If you try to sit I'll tax your seat;

      If you get too cold I'll tax the heat;

      If you take a walk I'll tax your feet.


      Don't ask me what I want it for,

      if you don't want to pay some more

      Now my advice to those who die,

      declare the pennies on your eyes.

      'Cause Im the Taxman, yeah, the Taxman, and your working for nobody but me.

      It seems that John Lennon had his own ideas about the redistribution of wealth.

    13. M.L.P. Bellingham, says:

      Why do the Democrats want to keep the U.S. economy down with added taxes and no incentives not even abilities for small business to suceed and grow? They are again using my money to fund their redistribution to the non-working.

    14. Delene Evert says:

      Obama is unchecked and unchallenged in his race to undo America. The people better wake up and realize he has all but completed the circle of strangulation of freedom and prosperity, freedoms the founding fathers spoke of, life, liberty and the pursuit (not guarantee),NOT Redistribution, No, each individual's right to pursue his dream or dash his life to bits…which ever. The Constitution does not speak of a government to redistribute, one with Czars not accountable to anyone (like the Federal Reserve) with is the biggest fraud against our wonderfully crafted plan of governance by the people….that has ever been pulled off. Read secrets of the federal Reserve…it will make you so sad and open your eyes to what happened when, and who took part. Glenn Beck's affordable $6.00 paperback just out re: common sense and an out of control government is out at wallmart. get it. The 5000 year Leap also tells it all. We are lost because we have allowed our government to take us from our God, our Constitution and our common sense. They have already affected the thinking of our children government (one world) america is the bad country schools, and we have lazed away every opportunity to stop them from taking our rights and government from us. Cap and trade and Healthcare via government is be all he needs to finish this country.

    15. Jerry, Arizona says:

      Enough is enough! Where and when are the "conservative" congressmen going to start representing us? The only time we see or hear from them is when they want re-elected! We need to vote out the career politicians!

    16. Dennis A. Social Cir says:


    17. Jay, Harvest, AL says:

      President Hussain Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and all of the Democratic, er excuse me Socialist, Party, are out-of-touch with the American People. We need a revolutionary movement for a RECALL, but that is not possible. Then we need an Impeachment and Trial for High Crimes and Misdemenors, specifically breaking his oath to uphold the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. He, Pelosi, Reid, and the other Socialist minions are domestic enemies of the United States. They have done more in a short period of time to destroy this country than any President and Administration in the past.

      Overseas, he and his entourage have done no better. He does not defend this country. He bows down to and kisses the back sides of the world's dictators and tyrants. He apologizes for America in whatever he thinks the dictator or tyrant wants to hear. The same way, he says whatever he thinks his domestic audiance wants to hear, regardless of his opinion nor what he plans to do in the back room of the White House Politburo. I encourage the reading of "Liberty and Tyranny." The elected president can find himself well characterized in this book.

      Whenever, wherever, and however we can, we must fight, oppose, battle, or otherwise work to KEEP AMERICA, AMERICA, not AMERIKA. We are a Capitalist Society, not a Socialist Puppet.

    18. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      The politicans must be right americans must want to give all their to the government if they didn't they wouldn't put this bunch in charge.

    19. Normca says:

      Those who support BO and voted for him do not read intelligent discussions such as these, on Heritage. They listen to the MSM; that's where they get their information from. I suppose some even read and when they do, they read the NY Times and LA Times and the rest. BO's policies will eventually be tied to him and the policies are adversely affecting everyone including his supporters. Taxing cigarettes except Menthols, as did one caucus in the House, is just the start. They realize what their doing is affecting their voters. That is why they are not going to tax all cell phones. Abuse of power.

    20. Pingback: IRS to Tax Employer-Provided Cell Phones « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    21. MS,fl says:

      I read the request for comments from the IRS, and is pretty clear what happened. The IRS is trying to simplify the law, and asked for proposals on the matter.

      Linking this with obama is possible, but is more misleading than truthfull..

      The sad thing is that with Rupert Murdock owning the WSJ, more and more bias news are flooding the media, and now not even the WSJ can be touted as balanced.

      The U.S. is sinking more and more into crazy extremist than balanced reporters… shamefull!!!

    22. Thank you for this posting, you've got a few solid points but will you be posting a follow up to this?

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