02 May Flat Dollar Reimbursements Considered Taxable by the IRS
Employees often use their personal cell phones for church business. The church requires that they submit monthly expense reports and they’re reimbursed through an accountable plan. The church board wants to ditch the paperwork and just pay flat-dollar allowances to employees every month. Would that be taxable?
Yes, the allowances would be taxable because employees aren’t substantiating their cell phone costs to you. According to the IRS, your reimbursement can’t exceed employees’ expenses. Flat-dollar allowances don’t meet this standard, because you don’t know what employees’ plans cost. A better idea is to have them continue submitting their monthly bills to you under an accountable plan.
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