HMRC have at last woken up to technological advances in recent years, and in particular, to the so-called smart phones.
Until recently HMRC decreed that smart phones were not mobile phones and therefore subject to tax as a benefit in kind. Users of iPhones, Blackberries and other “Android” devices, who have suffered a benefit in kind charge in recent years, can now reclaim any tax paid. Claims can be backdated to the tax year 2008/09.
In order to be considered a tax free benefit, the smart phone contract must be between the employer and the phone operator. As with mobile phones there is no restriction or tax charge if private calls are made.
This change of tack by HMRC does not apply to tablet devices such as the iPad.