Under the current law, if a business issues cell phones to its employees, and wishes to write off the bills as business expenses, it is required to keep records of every phone bill, in order to assess the exact dollar amount that can be written off.
Cell phones are currently “listed property” under U.S. tax laws. This means that a cell phone is a business property which inherently lends itself to personal use. Thus, in order to retain records that cell phones are being used for business purposes that would withstand the scrutiny of an audit, businesses must retain every cell phone bill they receive.
For many larger businesses, this is very inconvenient, as they may issue cell phones to hundreds of employees, and then be required to keep all related records.
To comply with these requirements, employers should keep these records well-organized, or at the very least, require their employees to keep the records.
As of May 2008, there is a bill in Congress that would change listed property status of cell phones, making it much easier for businesses to write off their use for tax purposes.