TaxPersonal TaxBlackBerry users facing tax threat

BlackBerry users facing tax threat

HMRC may tax for excessive business use of mobile gadget, an allegation described as 'complete nonsense' by the tax authorities

New rules governing work benefits could see HM Revenue & Customs taxing
employees hundreds pounds for sending too many emails via ever popular
BlackBerry devices.

At present, HMRC will tax anything ‘designed to be used by being connected to
or inserted into a computer’ including printers, scanners, modems and even MP3
players’, The Times reported.

HMRC described the suggestions as ‘complete nonsense’ today.

BlackBerries and other ‘personal digital assistants’ (PDAs) had been exempt
from tax because they were used mainly as mobile telephones, but because of the
increasing sophistication they have drawn the interest of HMRC.

An updated version of HMRC’s employee benefits manual now says: ‘Technology
has developed to such an extent that PDAs and BlackBerrys [sic] now have
additional functions more typically associated with a computer.’

A spokesman for HMRC said: ‘It is complete nonsense to suggest that the rules
issued in August create additional reporting requirements on either employees or
employers or that we will be engaging in some counting exercise of the number of
e-mails an employee sends on their work computer or blackberry, completely
absurd.

‘The key point remains where equipment is provided with the sole purpose of
enabling the employee to perform the duties of his or her employment, tax is not
due provided that any private use of the computer is not significant

‘If the equipment is necessary, it will be very unlikely that any private use
made of that equipment would be significant when compared to the business need.’

Related Articles

LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

Administration LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

13h Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

Administration HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

Personal Tax HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

Administration New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

2m Emma Rawson, ATT Technical Officer
Wealthy individuals could circumvent top tax rate rises

Personal Tax Wealthy individuals could circumvent top tax rate rises

4m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Italy grants first successful non-dom status application to former UK non-dom

Personal Tax Italy grants first successful non-dom status application to former UK non-dom

4m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Industry reaction: Taylor Review does not go far enough in addressing tax issues

Legal Industry reaction: Taylor Review does not go far enough in addressing tax issues

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Does the Taylor Review sufficiently address the gig economy?

Corporate Tax Does the Taylor Review sufficiently address the gig economy?

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter