Revision to Cell Phone Reimbursement (Wireless Devices) Policy

Published: December 15th, 2011

Category: Memos

Michael V. McKee, Assistant Vice President and University Controller

Effective January 1, 2012, the University of Florida is revising its cell phone reimbursement policy pursuant to IRS Notice 2011-72 and a related memorandum to IRS field agents.

Two major changes are:

  • Reimbursement for cell phone service or for the cell phone purchase will not be taxable, and therefore, no gross-up is needed. The phone must still be provided for noncompensatory business purposes to remain nontaxable. Each department is responsible for documenting the business purpose. No substantiation of personal or business use beyond that will be required.
  • Reimbursement will be made via Disbursements instead of through Payroll.  Departments will request that the employee be added to the vendor file, then enter an unencumbered voucher. Departments will enter a voucher once a year (July) and set up monthly payments for the reimbursement through June of the fiscal year.

Because of the transition,  departments will need to enter a voucher in December 2011 or January 2012 for reimbursements for January through June of this fiscal year and also will need to set up a new voucher in July for the new fiscal year.

It will not be necessary for departments to take any action to discontinue the payments currently paid through Payroll. That will be accomplished by Enterprise Systems.

Since the reimbursements are no longer taxable, the reimbursement should not include a gross-up. This will result in savings to the departments.

For employee transfers or terminations, departments should contact Disbursement Services to close the voucher and prevent future payments. As in the past, departments will still need to follow the applicable guidelines for allowable grant expenditures. See Cost Analysis information.

Departments providing faculty and staff with cell phone reimbursements should ensure that employees are familiar with the requirements of the cell phone directive. Additionally, departments should ensure that appropriate documentation supporting how the reimbursement was calculated is maintained by the department for audit purposes. The reimbursement may not cover the full cost of the service plan or equipment because of the personal use aspect.

To learn more, please visit More Information. An Instruction Guide will be available soon to assist departments in entering a multi-payment voucher.

Please contact Linda Orfield or Brian Kuhl at (352) 392-1231 if you have questions about this change in policy. For assistance with voucher processing, contact Randy Staples (352) 392-1241 or

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