mobile bill reimbursement

An HRs Guide to Crafting a Mobile Bill Reimbursement Policy

By: Sunder Singh
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The use of a mobile phone is vital for all types of work, be it a small business or a big company. In this line, cellphone policies differ from one company to another. Some companies provide cellphones with a limited amount of personal use to their employees, while others prefer reimbursement to employees for the cost of their business calls.

Creating a policy for employee mobile bill reimbursement is often a tricky task for companies. As till date, there is no single and ideal model for cell phone reimbursement; companies need to carefully consider their reimbursement plan. It is important to take account the current reimbursement policy accurately before making any amendments.

Here are a few things to consider before HR managers craft a mobile bill reimbursement policy.

Tax regulations

A company should find out the answers to three questions to comply with the tax regulations of cell phone reimbursement.

  • Is reimbursement right for the business?
  • Which one is the best plan for reimbursement – an accountable or non-accountable plan?
  • How much should be reimbursed?

Cell phone program

The first difficulty before HR managers is whether to reimburse employees as a part of their monthly wireless bills or to implement a corporate cell phone program. Most of the companies provide mobile devices to employees which is an attractive option for ones having particular concerns over data security and compliance. However, for this additional control, companies need to manage big mobile contracts including dozens or hundreds of devices. As a result, the cost always goes higher than a reimbursement policy should be. In addition, employees do not prefer carrying two devices and always like to use their own.

The hassles associated with the corporate-owned cell phones have led to the growth of employment-oriented policy which is an affordable and more scalable reimbursement plan. As per this plan, companies do not need to track the conversation or the physical movements of the employees. Organizations just need to make the employees able to speak to clients and work remotely.

As most companies require to meet limited use case, it is often cheaper and simpler to reimburse employees than providing personal devices.

Nature of the plan

If a company decides to reimburse employees as a part of their monthly cell phone bills, there are two options while deciding the nature of the plan – accountable and non-accountable.

Choosing an accountable plan means that the employer is willing to take responsibility for collecting and reporting extra documentation in order to spare their employees from having to report the reimbursement as taxable income. However, for this the mobile bill reimbursement policy should meet three requirements:

  • The expense should prove business requirements – It is done by showing that use of mobile is necessary and part of the employees’ job.
  • It should be accounted to the employer in a timely fashion.
  • The employee must return additional reimbursement

Any plan that fails to any one of the points mentioned above is non-accountable which makes your employee to report their reimbursement as income. However, thanks to Zeta for introducing an advanced digital solution for mobile bill reimbursement, it is now easier for employers and employees alike to manage telephone, and internet bill reimbursements without paperwork.

mobile bill reimbursement

image: zeta.in

With Zeta OptimaTM solution, it has now become much easier to manage mobile bill reimbursement process with no glitches. No manual checks are required and companies can send tax exemption grants instantly. For organizations, managing employees’ add-on mobile, data card and internet connections is now a task of few clicks. In addition, it helps employees save tax up to 30%!

This is another decision that you, as an HR manager need to take whether you wish to go for a digital solution or manage things manually. Manual may require resources and can lead to loss of productivity; however, it all depends on your budget and feasibility.

Crafting a Mobile Bill Reimbursement Policy for your organization isn’t herculean, but requires a lot of thought and attention to detail. Hope this post helped clarify a few concerns.

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