It's about time. Both the Obama administration and the IRS are urging Congress to do away with a twenty year tax law that requires cell phone users to break down their use between personal and business; deducting only the business use part, of course.
It's maddening, it's outdated, it's stupid and good luck finding even a aging boy scout that bothers doing it.
When it comes to regulating technology, a 20 year old law is about as a up- to- date as Hammurabi's code.
I'm guessing even Congress can't screw this one up. After all, I can't see anyone getting re-elected at the midterms because they made personal cell phone use on the work account taxable; especially when the IRS now admits its largely unenforceable and, well, dumb.
Let's hope this gets squared away in time for next April. If not, it's another tax year of filling out the deduction part with our fingers crossed again.
Quoted by the Associated Press, John Walls for CTIA-The Wireless Association put the law in perspective:
"In 1989, cell phones were considered a luxury item that were actually referred to as car phones. Now, we have unlimited calling on our cell phones. We have free nights and weekends. The company is not even paying for that. Why should I get taxed for that?"
- John Walls, vice president of public affairs for CTIA-The Wireless Association
Last updated: Jun 18, 2009
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio