The new meaning of Taxation without Representation may allow the IRS to tax you if YOU don’t represent that you don’t owe the taxes!
Congress passed a law requiring the value of employer-issued cellphones to be included in workers’ gross income, unless an employee kept detailed records showing the phone was used only for work.
But now that so many workers tote BlackBerrys and other cellphones issued by their employer, and so many companies don’t enforce the tedious record-keeping rule, the Internal Revenue Service is weighing whether a portion of a work-related cellphone bill should be taxed as income.
This week the IRS put forward several proposals intended to simplify the law. There have also been efforts to repeal the law altogether.
Since it is so difficult for the IRS to enforce their law(gee shouldn’t that tell you something?) they are going to make it “simple” for us 😉 and entertain the idea of automatically assuming that 25% of your work cell phone usage is personal and taxable unless you provide details to the contrary. That is signaling a departure from the burden being placed on government to justify their existence and privilege to collect and spend our money.
Under a second option, employees would provide proof that they have a personal cellphone to use during work hours. A third would let employers use a statistical sampling to determine the average workers’ use of the cellphones for personal calls.
The IRS is seeking comment on the proposals until Sept. 4.
Are you kidding me? I owe taxes until I prove I don’t owe taxes? Hello? anyone home?
Statistical sampling? Are you really freakin kidding me? Isn’t the tax code already several thousand pages? Everyone needs a CPA or two these days or should have one if they don’t, but now you need a stats geek to crunch numbers to determine some average? Who the heck is going to do that? How in the world would the IRS even want to enforce it?
With all of today’s nifty technology the work world and personal world has melded a significant amount. Many people are on duty 24/7 as long as they are tethered to their VM and email. What’s next? An official government taxation gps chip for us all to “simplify” things for us? (oops shouldn’t give them any ideas.)