Employee Allowance Procedures
Employee allowance for electronic communication devices (ECD) including internet service:
An employee’s supervisor is responsible to determine the need for an employee to have an electronic communication device (including internet service.) An ECD allowance can offset a portion of or all expense of the ECD or service.
- It is the responsibility of the employee’s supervisor to determine the dollar amount of the allowance for ECD. This amount should be based on the cost of service which allows the employee to conduct University business in an efficient manner and should cover the employee’s projected business-related expenses only. Generally accepted reimbursement rates are $15 for low business use, $25 for moderate business use, $40 for high business use, and $45 for data services per month. If amount requested exceeds $85 per month, an explanation must be attached to the allowance form. In no case shall the amount of reimbursement exceed the cost of service. The allowance shall not exceed $200/month or $2,400 annually for all combined services. Late fees and overages are not reimbursable.
- After reviewing and approving an employee to receive an ECD allowance, the ECD Allowance
Request Form must be completed and forwarded to the applicable Chancellor/Vice Chancellor,
or designee, for signature. The form must then be forwarded to the Office of Information
Technology with all applicable signatures/authorization. IT will forward the final
approved forms to Financial Services/Payroll for processing.
ECD Allowance Request Forms for newly qualified employees will go into effect within 30 days of receipt in Financial Services. To renew the allowance, a new ECD Allowance Request Form must be submitted no later than January 31st of each year.
The ECD Allowance Request Form will provide approval to pay out the allowance in equal installments over the year based on the pay cycle in which the employee is normally paid.
This allowance does not constitute an increase to base pay and will not be included in the calculation of percentage increases to base pay due to annual increases, job changes, etc.
- Under IRS regulations, this allowance is taxable to the employee. The cost of the ECD allowance plus applicable employer/employee paid benefits will be an expense of the authorizing department’s budget.
- The employee must maintain an active ECD service plan as long as the ECD allowance is in place.
- A copy of the employee’s most recent active billing statement must be attached to the ECD Allowance Authorization form.
- An annual review of the business need for the ECD and associated allowance must be completed by the employee’s supervisor. An ECD Allowance Request Form must be submitted no later than January 31st of each year. This form will provide approval to pay out the allowance in equal installments over the year based on the pay cycle in which the employee is normally paid.
- If the status of a qualified employee changes during the year and the employee should no longer need an allowance for ECD, Financial Services/Payroll must be notified by ECD Allowance Request Form of this change in order to stop the payment of the allowance. Any overpayment of allowance must be repaid by the employee to the University.
- The telephone number of the ECD will be made available to the university as required by your duties.
- If Blackberry/PDA services will be requested, individuals must contact Office of Information Technology.
- Only “direct” costs may be charged to grant and contracts. Therefore, the allowance cannot be charged to grant accounts.
- Many wireless carriers offer a discount to state employees. Please contact carriers for more information.
- It is the responsibility of the employee to enter into the cellular phone contract, or contract for internet services, under their own name. The purchase of any equipment is also the responsibility of the employee.
- A department may choose to reimburse for all or part of the equipment purchase. It
is the responsibility of the employee’s supervisor to determine the dollar amount
of the equipment reimbursement for the ECD. In no case should the reimbursement exceed
the cost of the equipment. Reimbursement should be limited to one device per the
employee’s ECD service contract term.
The applicable section of the ECD Allowance Request Form must be completed and submitted to the Office of Information Technology for inclusion in the employee’s wages. IT will forward the form to Financial Services/Payroll and this allowance payment will be made to the employee on their next available paycheck.
- A copy of the receipt for equipment purchases must be attached to the ECD Allowance Authorization Form.
Change to status
- If the employee changes the ECD service contract, as in modification or termination, then the employee may bear the cost of any fees associated with that change. For example, if the employee terminates employment with Montana State University Billings and no longer wants to keep the ECD service contract, then the cost of that change may be the employees’. The departmental manager will make the determination of who pays for any fees associated with changes.
- If Montana State University Billings should determine that it is necessary for the employee to terminate or change the ECD service contract, then the University will bear the cost of any fees associated with that change. Reimbursement of such expense will be made to the employee through Accounts Payable. See Departmental Purchases Procedures.