Company mobile as a benefit

Company mobile as a benefit

It is becoming increasingly common for companies to choose to offer a company mobile as a benefit to their employees. The requirement for employees to be mobile during their working day, together with more advanced technology in mobile telephony, has meant that a company mobile has become close to a requirement of a large part of the workforce. Especially in professional groups such as salespeople, who are constantly on the go and who at the same time have great requirements to always be available both before and after working hours. This may seem like a big investment with a hefty price tag. But the fact is that you can boost productivity by creating a mobile workforce that is always prepared to interact with customers or clients regardless of location.

Corporate mobile as a benefit essentially means that staff get a cellphone to use during their working hours. That way, they do not have to sit at a fixed desk phone, or at the desk when they are in the office and do not have to make calls from their private mobile when they are on the go.

But can employees use the same phone to make private calls? Where does the border go? Due to the fact that many people use their company mobile to make private calls, preferential taxation has been introduced on company mobile phones.

Benefits with mobile phones for employees

  1. Today mobile phones are just as and if not more powerful that some traditional computer.
  2. They’re oftentimes also safer than traditional computers.
  3. Most apps today are available on your mobile, and there are sometimes better versions of it.
  4. Some companies see benefits with saves costs by swapping out computers for mobile phones for employees that aren’t required to sit at a desk to work.
  5. Operating systems in phones are developed to be managed and secured in ways that traditional systems aren’t. Each app is for exampled protected from others, and the system can be completely shut down if malware is detected.

But these benefits created issues

How company mobiles are used have proved to be an issue in accounting. Complications have led to a change of rules, meaning that private calls are tax free. This is due to Skatteverket’s decision that company mobiles should be seen as car benefits which are tax free according to income tax law.

In order to have tax free private calls from your work mobile, it requires your employer to sign a fixed subscription, without a separate call deduction. If you pass the employers two requirements there will be no extra costs. However, the employer need to be able to prove that the staff is in need of company phones during work.

  • Many employees use company mobiles in today’s labor market.
  • Company mobiles are seen as a benefit at work.
  • Fixed subscriptions with free calls and texts are tax free.
  •  Employers need to be able to prove that the staff needs company phones
  • Only calls are included as tax free
  • Mobile surf can therefore be taxed if it’s used
  • A good idea is to write an agreement between employer and employees

Other phone services on the labor market

Other work related telephone services are however not tax free. Other telephone services that are used during work hours aren’t tax free. The only service that is, is calling which must be included in a fixed subscription. For employees that have a subscription with call charges that are flexible, benefit tax applies.

Some may wonder why benefit tax even exists and it’s due to people saving on living costs that otherwise would be taxed. Something to think about is that anything employees receive from an employer should be taxed. For example when you use free surf privately during work hours it should be taxed.

It’s also possible for the employee and employer to sign an agreement of how data surf can be used outside work hours. In that you will have it documented which helps Skatteverket see what has been agreed between the two counterparts.

Company’s responsibility of company mobiles

It’s primarily the company’s responsibility to make sure that the requirements are met to have tax free company mobiles. It’s therefore up to each employer to decide how much the company phone should be used. The company phone can result in huge taxes if unlucky.

Another thing that’s important to remember is to turn off your roaming while abroad. Or it might result in a huge bill and tax on top of that. If you don’t use your phone a lot during work, an important tip is to think about all of the above before getting one.

Even though it may be nice to have two phones whereof one for private and one for work related tasks, it could do more harm than benefit when not using it correctly. As long as you have read what rules apply you can use the company phone, if the subscription is fixed.

Latest update 28 Oct 2020

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