Cellular/Smart Phone Reimbursement Policy and Procedures

I. Purpose

The following procedure has been developed in accordance with the University Procurement and Use of Cellular Equipment Policy 04.76.11, Vice President memo “Interpretation of Cell Phone Policy” to University community dated September 2006 and Vice President Timothy O’Rourke’s “Exception to Procurement and Use of Cellular Equipment Policy” memo to Frank Annunziato, Associate Vice President and Controller dated March 21, 2013 (Appendix A).

II. Scope

This policy applies to employees who have an authorized need for cellular phone or smart phone services but do not want to have a separate University-owned business phone.

III. Eligibility

  1. An employee who has an authorized need for cellular phone or smart phone services, may, at the discretion of their Budget Unit Head, be reimbursed for their personal cellular phone or smart phone services as follows:
    • $20.00 per month maximum for standard cellular phone service.
    • $35.00 per month maximum for smartphone service

Each school or college has the option to reimburse at lower amounts.

  1. Any additional features are at the expense of the employee and upgrades or damages to the employee’s phone are not reimbursable.
  2. Employees who have a University-issued cell phone are not eligible for the reimbursement of business use of their personal cellular or smartphone service.  The existing University-issue phone must be turned in and the plan terminated.
  3. Rates for reimbursement of person cellular or smart phone services will be reviewed annually.
  4. Employees authorized for this reimbursement will receive this reimbursement monthly through payroll. Reimbursement is considered non-taxable consistent with the most recent Internal Revenue Service regulations regarding Employer-provided cellular phones. The taxability of this reimbursement is subject to change in accordance with subsequent Internal Revenue Service rulings. 
  5. Reimbursements will be in effect for no longer than one fiscal year. Reimbursements are effective with next pay period.  No retroactive reimbursements are permitted.  All employees authorized for personal cellular or smart phone reimbursement must obtain a new authorization in July of each fiscal year.  Reimbursements will continue until the end of that fiscal year or the employee terminates employment with the University.  If an employee transfers to a new department they will be required to submit a new authorization form.

IV. Procedure for Requesting Reimbursement

  1. An employee prepares the Cellular/Smart Phone Reimbursement Authorization Form.  As per the forms instructions the employee must attach to the authorization form a copy of their most recent personal cell phone bill.  If the employee currently has a University-paid cellular/smartphone that phone number must be terminated in order to qualify for this reimbursement.
  2. The employee’s budget unit head signs the Cellular/Smart Phone Reimbursement Authorization Form.
  3. The form is then sent to Accounts Payable to the attention of the Director.  This form can be sent as a PDF via email, via fax or through interoffice mail.  If a University-paid cellular/smartphone is identified on the form as being terminated, the Director will forward a copy of the approved form to the Director of Telecommunications.
  4. Accounts Payable will review the documents for proper authorization and amounts and then forward to Payroll for processing in the next pay period.  All requests must comply with normal payroll processing deadlines and be received in Payroll Management by the 10th of the month to ensure payment in that month.
  5. In June of each fiscal year, Budget Unit Heads will need to reauthorize reimbursements for the new fiscal year based upon a report from Payroll of all employees who, as of June 30th, receive cellular/smart phone reimbursement.  Budget Unit Heads would note whether the reimbursement should be continued as-is, changed, or discontinued.
  6. Each recipient of a cell phone allowance must notify Temple University of his/her cell phone number and must continue to maintain the cell phone while in receipt of the allowance.  It is the employee’s responsibility to notify payroll of cancellation of their personal account.
  7. An employee who transfers to a new department that is under the direction of a different Budget Unit Head, is required to have their cell phone reimbursement reauthorized by the new Budget Unit Head by following the procedures noted above.
  8. The cell phone contract will be between the carrier vendor and the employee.The employee will be solely responsible for all payments to the service provider. Only one cell phone allowance will be provided per employee. The allowance will be terminated upon employee separation and will coincide with the effective date of the separation. The employee’s supervisor needs to provide Human Resources/Payroll Department with the date of separation.