The Telecom Expense Management Industry Association (TEMIA) (http://www.temia.org),
the authoritative voice for the Telecom Expense Management (TEM)
industry, announced that it has released a position paper on taxes of
personal use for employer-paid mobile devices. This definitive paper
responds to the June 8, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2009-46
with three critical actions that enterprises, employees, and TEM
suppliers must take in the next 30 days. The paper outlines how to
submit comments to the IRS and Treasury Department and ways to contact
your lawmakers to support legislation that will abolish this tax. Also
the article provides strategies on why establishment of a corporate
liable plan will help to control expenses and, manage security.
While the tax does provide some justification for solutions offered by TEMIA members that automate mobility expense management processes, the association has adopted a position that aligns with the long-term best interest of its members' clients. "Our role is to enable productive, efficient mobile workforces within global enterprises. Outdated regulation and taxation is counterproductive and its enforcement costs exceed the tax benefit. Elimination of the tax puts the enterprise focus back on smart business," stated Andreas Schenck, chief executive officer of ProfitLine (http://www.profitline.com), a TEMIA member.
"Few companies enforce the tedious record-keeping rule which requires employee to monitor and document their personal use," said Kevin Whitehurst, co-founder and managing partner of mindWireless (http://mindwireless.com), a TEMIA member. "mindWireless recently looked at tens of millions of data records in our client database, researching apparent wireless personal use versus corporate use and we found that personal use of a corporate device has generally been minimal," said Whitehurst. "Automated telecom expense management systems, coupled with a clear corporate wireless policy make it easier for managers to review and tag calls for validation by the employee," added Whitehurst.
Tony Bodetti, Chief Operating Officer at TnT Expense Management (http://www.tntem.com), a TEMIA member, echoed the sentiments of many association members. "Although we are in favor of repealing the law, our system capabilities allow users to identify call detail records as either being for personal or business use. While this law remains in effect, we can help our clients meet its requirements and similar provisions for international clients with the Value Added Tax (VAT)," added Bodetti.
David Spofford, CEO of Invoice Insight (http://www.invoiceinsight.com), a TEMIA member, summed things up by stating, "two major concerns should create bi-partisan support for the elimination of this regressive tax: one, this tax is a job destroyer forcing businesses to spend money on compliance rather than innovation and jobs; two, this tax increases security risks for U.S. companies by driving devices off corporate secured devices onto unsecure individually bought and managed devices."
TEMIA seeks to take on issues of its members and provide education in ways that do not overlap with independent activities of its members and industry analysts. TEMIA's response to the IRS' tax simplification proposal provides a blueprint for how the association is positioned to tackle issues, publish best practices, performance metrics, standards, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Michael Greenspan, chief executive officer for MBG (http://mbg-inc.com), a TEMIA member, explains, "We need to get ahead of the curve to tell our story through educational initiatives and PR. The better we define things, the more we can improve the entire market for enterprise customers as well as TEM providers."
This paper can be downloaded from the TEMIA website (http://www.temia.org/report) and the websites of our association members.