We reimburse employees for virtual internet and phone monthly ...

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Q. (cont.)

We process this reimbursement through our expense management, and are now looking at the possibility removing this from the reimbursement process and instead providing a stipend at a set dollar amount across the board. The issue we are now facing is that the stipend dollars now become a taxable event and receipts are required. Is there any best practice or information around stipend virtual expenses?

A.

The definition of stipend is a fixed regular sum paid as a salary or allowance. Since this is not salary, I would suggest calling it a per diem.

The definition of per diem is an amount of money that someone is given for daily expenses, such as food and taxis. Your employer may pay you a per diem when you travel for work, in which case you receive a fixed dollar amount.

I think this takes care of the taxable issue by making this a monthly per diem, paying only xxx dollars toward employees' virtual internet and phone. You may want to check with your tax department to make sure, as every state and industry has a different ruling to apply.

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