A few articles have appeared today after HM Revenue & Customs published new guidance on whether PDA/Blackberry devices could be a taxable benefit in the UK.
At present, HM Revenue & Customs will tax anything ‘designed to be used by being connected to or inserted into a computer’ including printers, scanners, modems and even MP3 players’
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.
The articles are really interesting as the government looks to how/if they can tax these devices.
BlackBerry users facing tax threat
Don’t send personal e-mails on your CrackBerry, taxman warns
What all these articles seemed to have missed is a bigger issue in that the law actually states that you can only have 1 device exempt from Tax…
‘The complete tax exemption for employer-provided mobile phones is to be restricted with effect from 6 April 2006. The exemption will only apply from that date to one mobile phone provided to the employee for private use, and will not apply to phones provided for members of his or her household.’
Interestingly one of my accountant friends pointed this out to me when the new Tax laws came into effect as there is a specific provision around having more than one handheld device and being taxed beyond one device.
Of course most Windows Mobile users only have one device whereas I see lots of Blackberry users with a secondary phone….