Repeal of company cell phone tax sought

Company-issued cell phones might feel like a tether to the office even in workers' off-hours. The phones also are a taxable fringe benefit, and the Obama administration wants to change that.

The administration has asked Congress to repeal the widely ignored tax on the personal use of company cell phones, saying it is outdated and difficult to enforce. The request Tuesday came a week after the Internal Revenue Service caused an uproar when it sought ideas for how better to enforce the law.

"There's been very uneven enforcement, said Marianna Dyson, a former IRS lawyer who now is an employment tax and fringe benefits expert with Miller & Chevalier in Washington.

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said the tax is "poorly understood by taxpayers," and acknowledged it was difficult to enforce consistently.