The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-240), which encourages small-business lending, also contains payroll provisions. Here's the rundown.
Employer-provided cell phones. Previously, the tax code classified cell phones as listed property, which meant that employees had to account, in agonizing detail, for their personal and business use (this included text messages and e-mails, too). The law removes cell phones and similar telecommunications equipment (smart phones) from the listed-property category, beginning with the 2010 tax year. Upshot: You may treat employer-provided cell phones/smart phones as a working condition, provided employees substantiate their business and personal use under the regular accountable plan rules. Red flag: Employees' personal use of employer-provided cell phones remains taxable, unless personal use can be considered a de minimis fringe benefit.
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