back to article Blighty's taxman offers smartphone levy refund

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs officials have decided that smartphones are phones, not PDAs, so anyone paying tax on one can now claim it back. Not that a lot of people were paying the tax anyway, companies (and individuals) have in the main remained blissfully ignorant that once a phone became smart it ceased, in the eyes of …

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So if an employer gives an employee a tablet device or pda for their work; they have to pay some tax on it regularly out of their salary ? WTF?

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Anonymous Coward

Yep...

Just like if you get a car from your employer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yep...

Which is why you don't want a car. You want a motorcycle*.

They classed as "plant" so tax efficient for the employer too.

*This assumes you like bikes and hold a license, of course.

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Big Brother

Cough....Giggle....Snort...Hack

"if your accounts department is particularly officious". Wot, like the Accounts Department in every Company I have ever worked for you mean?

I have even had one company tell me they were putting my Overalls down as a tax benefit as it was possible to use them at home.

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Windows

Re: Cough....Giggle....Snort...Hack

"I have even had one company tell me they were putting my Overalls down as a tax benefit as it was possible to use them at home."

Christ, almost snorted again! I'm sure whoever told you that would have put his/her suit down as tax-exempt. And, naturally left them at work, driving home in T-shirt and jeans...

Sod-my-Guts.

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Gold badge
WTF?

Re: Re: Cough....Giggle....Snort...Hack

I remember hearing this, but don't know if it's true or urban legend.

A lawyer went to court, claming that his funny wig was a business essential, and therefore except from tax as a benefit. The judge said that he couldn't claim that, and had to pay tax on it. The lawyer then took the wig off, and was found in contempt of court.

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Thumb Up

Import VAT

Does this include the VAT paid if you imported your smartphone from the US and were charged VAT at the border? I imported my Nexus One, for example, and a 17.5% refund wouldn't go down badly now I'm considering buying a newer model!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Import VAT

No, you wont be able to get the tax of that, it's a whole different kettle of fish.

You should have had it marked as a gift, or waited a few weeks to get one here...

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Unhappy

Re: Re: Import VAT

Ah well, was worth a shot!

Getting one here was not an option as it would have involved dealing with Vodafone, and asking Google to falsely claim it was a gift would have probably been even harder.

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Flame

Tax does have to be taxing

When even the tax authorities have problems keeping up with the pace of change in modern life you don't have any better proof that the UK's tax system is overly complex.

Simplify it.

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Anonymous Coward

Wait..

WTF?

Still, I seem to remember that if a company owns the asset that you've paid tax on and then sells it you're entitled to a chunk of the proceeds?

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Silver badge

Re: Wait..

Yeah, but isn't that taxable benefit asset which gets sold not usually replaced with something bigger/better/faster/shinier? So you are never deprived of the use, just upgraded.

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Happy

Reading this on my Xperia Mini Pro...

"Smartphones are phones"

WHOA! Wait a minute... I can *call* people on this thing?!?

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Could be worse.....

One place I was working I tried explaining how 'benefit in kind' could bite you on the arse and one guy wouldn't believe me. I mentioned that having the coffee machine on free vend was a possible problem and he phoned the Revenuers to check???????

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Gold badge

Re: Could be worse.....

Yeah, place where my dad used to work suffered from that. During a revenue visit, the revenue man found out that the coffee machine was free; it cost the owner less money to just let everyone have free coffee than to get the machine fixed. He ended up with a huge bill for back tax because they assumed that everyone drank about 20 cups of coffee a day, that it had always been free, and thanks for some extra interest.

Also funnily enough, in my last place the company almost got taken to court because they didn't provide free drinking water...

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I remember

that regular phones were taxed back in the late 90's is this still the case ?

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