WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wireless consumer advocacy coalition, MyWireless.org, today applauded House Leadership and all bill supporters on both sides of the Capitol after the U.S. House successfully passed the 'Small Business Jobs Act,' H.R. 5297, by a vote of 237-187. Included in it was language from the overwhelmingly bipartisan 'MOBILE Cell Phone Act of 2009,' (Modernize Our Bookkeeping in the Law for Employees), or the House and Senate companion bills (S. 144 and H.R. 690). The package now heads directly to the President's desk for signature into law.
This pro-consumer and bipartisan legislation has enjoyed broad support in the Senate and the House, with 72 co-sponsors and 214 co-sponsors, respectively. The measure would remove cellular telephones, smartphones and similar wireless communications devices from application of the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) "Listed Property" rules under section 280F, and alleviate a burdensome tax measure imposed on business and employees because of their employer-provided wireless devices. Under the existing I.R.S. regulations, employees receiving a work-provided wireless device for day-to-day usage are required to keep a detailed phone call log on any personal use (calls, emails, texts, tweets, etc.) of that cell phone provided for under the work plan, and should pay income tax on that 'benefit.' The 'MOBILE Cell Phone Act of 2009' eliminates that archaic regulation, providing relief to American workers in companies of all sizes.
Brian Johnston, director of advocacy for MyWireless.org, said, "Today is a very proud moment for American wireless consumers and for MyWireless.org. These bills were introduced in Congress in January of 2009, and since then it's been a top priority for our organization to educate consumers about the proposals, and to provide them an opportunity to express their support to their Members of Congress. More than 100,000 letters were sent through our web site to Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill, and we're pleased that so many consumers cared about this issue and took action. This is a victory for millions of wireless consumers, who now won't have to worry about the I.R.S. taking money out of their hands for using such an invaluable communications tool."
Johnston also expressed appreciation to the bills' original sponsors, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (ND), Rep. Sam Johnson (TX), Sen. John Kerry (MA) and Sen. John Ensign (NV) for coming together and working hard to obtain this repeal of the Listed Property regulation.
The 'MOBILE Act' will modernize an outdated and archaic piece of the U.S. tax code, that if continued to be enforced, would only further hinder wireless consumers' and businesses' efficiency and productivity. On behalf of all the American wireless consumers who spoke up to weigh in on this legislation with their federal lawmakers, MyWireless.org thanks its sponsors in the House and Senate, and all of the bill's co-sponsors for their work on this important issue for much of the 111th Congress, as they defended American businesses and wireless users around the country from more spiraling unfair, new wireless taxation. Wireless should remain affordable and accessible to all Americans.