Quarterly Business Call Reimbursement Process

Your employer wants to pay you tax free

They can pay you a small fee (tax free) for using your personal cell phone for company business. They would rather pay you than pay a cellular carrier.

IRS Memo 2011-93 –“employers that require employees, primarily for noncompensatory business reasons, to use their personal cell phones for business purposes may treat reimbursements of the employees’ expenses for reasonable cell phone coverage as nontaxable”

Your employer wants to lighten your load

They do not want to burden you by requiring you to manage both a personal and business cell phone.

Your employer also does not want to be in the cell phone business!  

It is a pain to audit cellular bills and maintain phones when you the employee may already have such a bill.

Benefits for the employee

  • Carry just one phone not two.
  • When you make calls, the system shows your work office number. Your personal cell phone number is protected.
  • Your submited business airtime charges are reimbursed PLUS an extra $20/month fee to pay for cell phone insurance, missed air-time charges, etc.
  • Limited personal text messages and voice calls will be permitted. Please don’t abuse this.

 

How to setup free air-time calls

FREE OUTBOUND CALLS: Some cell phone plans such as Verizon Friends & Family allow free calls to a registered number. In this case, register the Cell Gateway number 804-726-1592 and your outbound business calls will be free.

FREE INBOUND CALLS: Also register your office number so that when the office calls you, these calls are also free. Infotel Systems can change any phone system to only send the main “line 1” phone number to a cell phone allowing you to just register this main telephone number.

Calls qualified for Reimbursement

 Your employer will pay for all calls that incur CHARGEABLE airtime from two numbers listed on your wireless bill.

OUTBOUND CALLS: These calls are made via Cell Gateway and show as 804-726-1592 on your wireless bill.

INBOUND CALLS: These are office calls from your managers or transferred customers calls. They show on your bill as {Your business office main phone number}. If you have a multi-line telephone system, you can call 804-222-1111 to confirm that only your main number is sent regardless of the line chosen. Call Infotel Systems for solutions if this is NOT the case. 

 

Non compensated calls

Business calls that did not cost you will not be compensated. Specifically:

  • Cell phones that have an unlimited plan
  • Cell phones that have a pool of minutes that were not exceeded.
  • Outbound calls that qualified as a “calling circle” plan such as Verizon’s “Friends and Family” plan that allows for free calling. If you have registered 804-726-1592 with your calling circle plan, you will incur no airtime for outbound calling. 
  • Calls to and from numbers other than 804-726-1592 or your main business telephone number.

 

How to review your phone bill electronically. (Done quarterly)

 

How to Details
Sign into your wireless account and access your monthly bills or wireless usage. All wireless carriers have this feature
Download your quarterly bill as a CSV or XML data file. These are industry standard data files used for importing into software programs for analysis.

CSV = comma separated values.

XML = html data standard.

Open this file  in Excel. Your office bookkeeper or controller should know how to bring into Microsoft Excel.

Sometimes CSV files have missing or too many commas or quotes. If you have issues opening a CSV, try XML. Excel opens both but the more rigidly structured XML data may work better as it likely has fewer formatting errors.

Sort on number called and erase all calls other than your outbound and inbound business calls.

Calls made to 804-726-1592, the Cell Gateway platform.

Calls received from your office.

Outbound calls to 804-726-1592 are the business calls you made via Cell Gateway to your business contacts. These outbound calls and the inbound calls from your office are the only calls that qualify for reimbursement under this plan.

Calls from office phone systems having analog phone lines will show several numbers (line 1, line 2, line 3)  on your bill. Analog phone lines are not desired as it makes the wireless bill sorting process a burden.

Infotel Systems can provide a phone system that uses digital lines and thus only shows the main office phone number on wireless bills.

For example, if you worked for Infotel Systems, only 804-266-6600 would show on your bill as calls from the office.

Total the minutes column.

Total the airtime charges column.

Consult Excel help for the SUM key.
Present the completed report with totals.

Also note if you had an airtime overage for the month.

Reimbursement will not be paid if you did not consume your bucket of minutes.

 

Here is s screen shot of a Verizon bill being downloaded to an Excel
sortable file. All carriers have this feature.

call-report-verizon

 

* It’s up to the employee how they actually use the additional $20/mo.