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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


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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


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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


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General Information: Policy

The Policy (2.1.7):

  • Fulfills tax obligations

  • Eliminates need for onerous documentation by the individual


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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


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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)


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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)


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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)


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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


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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


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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.


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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!


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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


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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)


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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


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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


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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


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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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