6-8: Cell Phone Allowance

Policy Overview

This policy establishes the authorization of an allowance paid to Santa Fe Community College (SFCC or College) employees for the business use of personal cell phones.

Scope and Applicability

This policy applies to all SFCC employees.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of SFCC to reimburse employees for business use of personally owned cell phones. This includes all cell phones that are deemed necessary to perform duties as an SFCC employee. This policy allows SFCC to efficiently meet Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations.


  1. Cell Phones, College-Owned Cell Phones and Personally Owned Cell Phones Cell Phones are non-contractual prepaid phones and all wireless handheld/mobile devices that require a service contract for operation.
  2. Employee is any member of the college workforce: all staff (regular full-time, regular part-time, term, temporary, probationary, sensitive position); all student employees; all faculty (full-time, part-time, adjunct, probationary); all administrators, including interim; all contract employees.
  3. Executive Team Is an advisory group to the President; members include representation from management, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate. Its membership is identified on the College’s organizational chart.

Policy Process

  1. The College does not provide cell phones or devices for individual employee use.
  2. An allowance may be authorized if at least one of the following two criteria is met: (1) the employer’s need to contact the employee at all times for work related emergencies; and (2) the employer’s requirement that the employee be available to respond to work-related calls at times when the employee is away from the office.
  3. A cell phone allowance shall not be authorized on the premise of convenience.
  4. The employee must maintain the type of cell phone coverage that is reasonably related to the needs of the employer’s business, and the reimbursement must be reasonably calculated so as not to exceed expenses the employee actually incurred in maintaining the cell phone.
  5. The College may purchase college owned cell phones for general department use (e.g. Campus Safety).
  6. The employee is responsible for choosing his or her own equipment. There is no additional allowance for the purchase of cell phones or other devices. Replacement for loss or damage is at the expense of the employee.
  7. Information contained on devices covered by this policy are also subject to Federal and State data maintenance and protection laws (e.g., FERPA, records retention requirements), as well as all College policies, including those pertaining to data security, technology usage and security, and email.
  8. An employee receiving a College allowance must comply with Federal, State, and College requirements, and assist the College in providing access to information about or contained on the mobile device covered by this policy in response to requests for such data or information by third parties as required by Federal and/or State law.
  9. The College reserves the right to remove a participant from a College-paid or reimbursed plan and/or cancel the phone if there is insufficient budget to meet the costs.
  10. The appropriate Executive Team member, or designee, may authorize a cell phone allowance for employees who use their personally owned cell phones for College business.

Statement of Accountability and Responsibility

The President, through the Vice President for Finance/Chief Financial Officer and the Finance Office, shall be responsible for enforcing finance policies and procedures. The Vice President for Finance/Chief Financial Officer shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention and remediation.



U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Publication 15-B, Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits and Notice 2011-72



SFCC Governing Board approved: 8/31/09
Revised and SFCC Governing Board approved: 10/27/09
Revised and SFCC Governing Board approved: 3/22/17

Associated Procedures