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Proposals to tax personal use of work mobiles unenforceable

Media statement Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Proposals to tax personal use of work mobile phones and laptops unenforceable, antiquated

Proposals by Inland Revenue to tax the personal use of work mobile communication devices like mobile phones, tablets and laptops are both unenforceable and contrary to government's ambition to lift workplace productivity, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says.

"Our members are angry about the IRD tax proposals," said Kim Campbell, EMA's chief executive.

"We're being told at our current briefings that businesses think they're not only unworkable, unenforceable and would collect tiny amounts of tax, the thinking behind them is also antiquated.

"On the one hand we have Communications Minister Amy Adams recently praising the workplace flexibility we now have with such devices, so anyone can work partly at home or elsewhere, and on the other we have IRD saying they need to tax these things because there's been an increase in "working outside the traditional office environment."

"We think its petty and counter-productive.

"If these so called 'perks' taxes proceed businesses will simply stop providing mobile phones and the like to employees, and employees will simply stop doing some of their work at home.

"Employers and employees will lose out, and so will IRD as productivity, output and tax revenues fall. How dismal is that!

"IRD has muddled its thinking over some of its other perks' proposals too, to tax some workplace clothing, meals and accommodation allowances.

"All these issues need far more thought."


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