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Wireless Communication Stipend Policy (2.1.7) Effective: 09/01/08 Merianne Cardas Administration and Finance

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Wireless Communication Stipend Policy (2.1.7) Effective: 09/01/08 Merianne Cardas Administration and Finance Agenda Policy Background General Information Policy Stipend Device Plan Transition Stipend Eligibility Stipend Specifics Recipient Responsibilities Security Considerations

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Wireless Communication StipendPolicy (2.1.7)Effective: 09/01/08Merianne Cardas Administration and Finance

agenda
Agenda
  • Policy Background
  • General Information
    • Policy
    • Stipend
    • Device
    • Plan
    • Transition
  • Stipend Eligibility
  • Stipend Specifics
  • Recipient Responsibilities
  • Security Considerations
  • University-Owned Wireless Devices
  • Miscellaneous
  • Procedure for Acquiring a Stipend
  • Useful Links
policy background
Policy Background

Federal tax law (IRS):

  • Considers personal use of a university-provided wireless communication device a taxable fringe benefit
  • Requires employees using such device to log all calls, denote if personal or business, and document the business purpose of call
  • Requires the university to include the value of personal calls in taxable income
  • Can declare the entire cost of the plan as taxable income if the log is not kept
general information policy
General Information: Policy

The Policy (2.1.7):

  • Fulfills tax obligations
  • Eliminates need for onerous documentation by the individual
general information stipend
General Information: Stipend
  • University provides, through payroll, a monthly taxable stipend to cover business use of the wireless plan
  • Employee must qualify for eligibility; not applicable for all
  • Employee receiving must agree to responsibilities of the policy
  • Employee applies for the stipend through GETit
general information device
General Information: Device
  • The university will not purchase, own or reimburse for wireless communication devices effective September 1, 2008*
  • If you already have a device purchased by the university, you may keep it at no cost
  • If you already have a personally-owned device that meets your business needs, you need not change your device
  • If you choose to purchase a (new or different) device, it is at your own expense

* except in very limited circumstances (to be covered later)

general information plan
General Information: Plan
  • The university will not renew or extend existing wireless communication contracts effective September 1, 2008*
  • If you are covered by a university-paid plan, you must convert to a personal plan
  • You can select any carrier/plan that meets your business needs
  • If you already have a personal plan that meets your business needs, you need not change plans
  • The cost of the personal plan is the employee’s; the stipend only covers the projected business use
  • UCit is available for service consultation;

contact UCit @ 556-mobi (6624) to setup a consultation

* except in very limited circumstances (to be covered later)

general information transition
General Information: Transition
  • Units or employees using a university-owned device acquired prior to the establishment of this policy and bound by a two-year plan, have a maximum of 2 years from the effective date to comply with the policy. During that time:
    • Must comply with IRS documentation requirements
    • Are not eligible for the stipend
  • Units or employees may choose to transition immediately
  • Note: the university’s preferred contracted carrier (UC Mobile) does not require contracts so departments and individuals can transition as soon as possible
  • Consult with UCit prior to the expiration of your contract or the effective date of the policy for a smooth and seamless transition; contact UCit @ 556-mobi (6624)
stipend specifics
Stipend Specifics
  • Recipient must be UC faculty/staff paid via university payroll
  • Stipend ranges:
    • Determined by the Controller; approved by VP of Finance
    • Variant Expense Rate Table
  • Stipend categories:
    • Voice
    • Data/text stipend may be added
  • Stipend amount:
    • Based on business usage only as approved by one’s supervisor
    • Not intended to cover entire monthly cost
stipend specifics cont
Stipend Specifics (cont.)
  • Paid monthly through payroll
  • Not an increase to base pay or used for calculations for raises, retirement, etc.
  • Taxable income
  • Itemized on pay stub
  • Reported on W2
  • Subject to withholding
  • Stipend amount added to employee’s paycheck will be increased by 25% to defray the deduction for payroll taxes
stipend eligibility
Stipend Eligibility
  • Business need; approved by supervisor
  • To qualify:
    • The employee’s job requires that they work regularly in the field and need to be immediately accessible.
    • The employee’s job requires that they need to be immediately accessible outside of normal business hours.
    • The employee is responsible for critical infrastructure and needs to be immediately accessible at all times.
    • The employee travels and needs to be accessible or have access to information technology systems while traveling.
    • Access via voice and/or access to information technology systems via a mobile communications device would, in the judgment of the supervisor, render the employee more productive and/or the service the employee provides more effective, and the cost of mobile communications service is therefore warranted.
recipient responsibilities
Recipient Responsibilities

Employee must agree to:

  • Provide phone # within 5 days of activation
  • Be available (have device and have it on) during times specified by management
  • Have a device/plan that meets job requirements
  • Inform university if eligibility is not met or changes
  • Inform university if wireless service is cancelled
  • Provide management with first page of plan bill (if requested)
  • Provide management with documentation of business use (if requested)
  • Provide management with documentation when applying or renewing
  • Pay for charges on the plan (including early termination fees)
  • Remain responsible for plan obligations if employee leaves position
  • Personal responsibility for complying with international, federal, state and municipal laws regarding the use of a wireless while driving
  • Use discretion in relaying confidential information over a wireless

But there is no need to maintain a call log!

security considerations
Security Considerations
  • Any mobile device accessing the university’s infrastructure may be subject to current or future policies & guidelines
    • From Information Security office
    • From IT governance structure
  • Some examples of what might be covered in current or future security policies:
    • Mobile anti-virus spyware
    • Mobile firewall
    • Strong passwords
    • Two-factor authentications
  • Costs for security measures are the device owner’s
university owned wireless devices
University-Owned Wireless Devices
  • In limited circumstances, the university may purchase a wireless communication device and plan. Some examples:
    • Devices that rotate among individuals; not in any one individual’s name
    • Test devices for central IT
    • Devices not taken to one individual’s home on a regular basis
  • Must be approved by the president, senior vice president, or vice president using the Policy Exception Form (check “Other”)
  • Acquired by the business office through GETit
  • Business office must review statement monthly
  • No personal calls: inadvertent or emergency personal calls are reimbursed to the university at $10 plus costs
  • Individuals using the device must maintain a call log for business and personal phone calls and document the business purpose of calls (Cell Phone Usage Log)
miscellaneous
Miscellaneous
  • Any exceptions to the policy require approval by the president, senior vice president, or vice president using the Policy Exception Form(check “Other”)
  • For someone receiving the monthly stipend who has extraordinary business usage or international usage that exceeds the stipend amount in a particular month:
    • Apply for a one time stipend in GETit
    • Requires documentation and supervisor approval
  • For someone not receiving the monthly stipend who uses one’s own device for university business in a particular month, the individual may:
    • Apply for a one time stipend in GETit
    • Requires documentation and supervisor approval
miscellaneous cont
Miscellaneous (cont.)
  • Misuse/fraudulent receipt of stipend
    • Progressive administrative and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination and criminal prosecution
  • Always consider communication alternatives that might be adequate but less costly (e.g. landlines, pagers, radio phones, etc.)
  • Check with your grants administrator regarding stipend payments on a sponsored project
  • Org units are not required to provide stipends; org units may have more restrictive policies
procedure for acquiring a stipend
Procedure for Acquiring a Stipend
  • Applying
    • Determine business use and agree on stipend amount(s) with supervisor
    • Request stipend through GETit
    • Stipend is approved by GETit Approver
    • Employee receives email that requires acceptance of the conditions of the stipend agreement
    • PCR (Personnel Compensation Request) process begins
    • Once PCR is approved, stipend is added to employee’s pay on the next regular pay day, subject to payroll deadlines (Monthly, Biweekly)
  • Renewal
    • Stipends deactivate at the end of the fiscal year (June 30)
    • Stipends must be renewed annually; more frequently if changes to the eligible amount
    • Documentation required: plan coverage and business usage
useful links
Useful Links
  • Links from www.uc.edu/af/policies
    • Wireless Communication Stipend Policy
    • Wireless Communication Stipend Policy FAQs
    • Wireless Communication Stipend: Key Things to Know
    • Things to Consider When Selecting a Wireless Carrier
    • Cell Phone Usage Log
    • Stipend Amounts (Variant Expense Rate Table)
  • GETit
  • IRS
  • Questions: [email protected]
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