Particular benefits: mobile telephones: general overview
Section 319 ITEPA 2003
The provision of one mobile phone to a director or employee is exempt from charge under the benefits code (see EIM20006). The exemption covers the telephone itself, any line rental and the cost of private calls paid for by the employer on that telephone.
For years up to and including 2005/06
Before 2006/07 the exemption only covered the tax charge under the benefit in kind rules in the benefits code. It did not cover other situations where a tax charge may arise in respect of a mobile telephone.
For example an employment income charge still arose if:
- the employer reimbursed the employee for calls made on their own mobile telephone (see EIM00580), or
- the employee could give up the telephone and get a higher cash wage or salary (see EIM00570), or
- the employer provided a voucher (see EIM16000 onwards) for a mobile telephone or for calls.
Definition of a mobile phone before 6 April 2006
Equipment (including equipment installed in a car) that could be used to transmit spoken messages and that was not connected to a land-line.
Cordless and telepoint telephones were specifically excluded because of their close dependence on land-lines.
The definition of a mobile phone is revised for 2006/07 onwards - see EIM21779.
Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
For information on Personal Digital Assistants, see EIM21701.
For information on smartphones see EIM21779.
Hands free mobile telephone kit