My sales force all need to connect to the internet while they are out on the road, so we provide them each with a mobile phone dongle to provide the internet where and when they need it. Are there any tax implications for my company or the employees?
A mobile phone dongle is treated as a piece of computer equipment and not as a mobile phone. Where the company purchases the dongle and pays the subscription charge directly there should be no benefit in kind charge on the employee. This applies if the associated computer has no significant private use, and the private use does not affect the cost of providing the equipment.
Where the employee purchases the dongle and pays the connection charge, which he claims back from the company, the tax situation is more complicated. The employer needs to include the expense paid on the form P11D, and the employee needs to claim a deduction for the costs on his tax return, as reasonable additional costs relating to work. To circumvent this paper chase, the company should apply for the costs of the dongles to be included in a P11D dispensation.