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Nanny mobile: quick question

(11 Posts)
SuiGeneris Mon 13-Jun-11 12:00:44

Have been thinking about giving my nanny a pay-as-you-go mobile (or SIM card) so that she can contact us in an emergency: have had a couple of issues when she's been unable to call to say she would be late because she had no credit on her mobile.

What would people recommend? A SIM card to stick into her existing phone when necessary (I have a spare one at home) or just get a new PAYG phone with SIM card (which I top up) and ask her always to have it on when on duty and around duty times (eg on the way into work).

Anybody know the tax implications? I thought there would be none if the phone is given to her exclusively to use in the performance of her duties?

mranchovy Mon 13-Jun-11 13:58:26

Swapping SIM cards never really works IME.

Taxation of mobile phones is now fairly relaxed:

There is no charge to [income] tax on:
• one mobile phone provided to an employee, or
• any line rental or the cost of any private calls for that phone paid for by the employer
unless they can be converted into money by the employee.

... although note that a PDA (which definately includes a BlackBerry and probably an iPhone, and possibly other smartphones) is not classified as a mobile phone.

Our nannies and au pairs have all come from overseas with no UK mobile and so giving them a PAYG phone with a big text and calls pack each month has been a useful tax-efficient perk.

mranchovy Mon 13-Jun-11 13:59:03

(just noticed your user name - s319 ITEPA 2003 refers)

Strix Mon 13-Jun-11 16:44:37

I think you need to give her the actual phone if you expect her to be available on it. Until recently, she had a sim, a phone (if she wanted it -- some prefer to use their own), and £30 of top up per month. REcently I decided that for about the same price (a bit more), I could get her a contract phone. So she now has a Samsung Galaxy S, and I can also expect her to be around on e-mail.

Although I am now a tad worried about MR. A's comment about smart phones. I thought if it was needed in the course of her duties (as it is, I require her to call/text/e-mail me almost daily) then it was not taxable. Same for the gym membership.

mranchovy Mon 13-Jun-11 17:57:27

Ooo, I hope I haven't started too many hares running...

Although PDAs do not qualify for the generous arrangments I mentioned, they are still not a taxable benefit if they are provided for use in the course of her duties and any private use is "not significant" (s316 ITEPA 2003).

In general it is very difficult to avoid a charge to tax with gym membership. The main hope is either s261 which only works if you can get a place at a company sports club or win a concession on the grounds that s261 is discriminatory against small employers, or perhaps to include the nanny on a family membership where although there is a benefit, there is no incremental cost to providing that benefit.

EldonAve Mon 13-Jun-11 18:00:16

are you sure that will solve your problem?
not calling about being late due to lack of credit sounds like a lame excuse to me

Strix Mon 13-Jun-11 18:52:47

She has the gym membership in order to take the children to their prescribed gym activities. So I figured it too fell under the same category of being required to perform her usual duties... and she is on the family maembership, but it does cost something.

I'd hate to have to take away the gym membership because I am certainly not paying taxes for it.

Lizcat Mon 13-Jun-11 18:58:13

I would be going for a contract phone first because you will get the bills and can see what calls are being made. You maybe able to turn your contract into a small business contract and add another phone relatively cheaply. Also with a contract phone it is easier to block overseas calls and expensive numbers.
Personally I use Vodaphone small business essentials plan.

SuiGeneris Mon 13-Jun-11 21:43:48

Thank you all: have found old telephone in the house and tasked DH with sorting out the SIM card.
wink at mrAnchovy's one-liner!

Strix Tue 14-Jun-11 09:36:30

Oh Lizcat, I think I have missed a trick. Au pair and I each have separate personal O2 plan -- both in my name. Is it cheaper to have two phones on one business plan?

Lizcat Tue 14-Jun-11 13:31:04

It can be cheaper to do this depending on what type of plan you currently have. I have a PDA with loads of minutes I never use, so I added another phone for £15 per month that uses my minutes. If you are employing someone you can justify small business.

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