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Setting phone


Guest SueV
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I am manager of a small pre-school setting that belongs to my church. A few years ago I was asked by the then vicar to find some other form of telephone communication because he and his secretary were getting annoyed at having to keep coming to get me when I was wanted on the phone. I agreed therefore to use my own mobile phone as the contact for parents and Ofsted etc. After a while it was agreed that the pre-school would pay my tariff which is about £26 a month. This they have happily done until last term when the Treasurer told me that it could no longer be paid for unless it was added to my income and taxed accordingly. This is apparently an Inland Revenue guideline. She said I could get a pay as you go phone and the pre-school could pay for the calls. My argument is that the present number is well known as the contact number for us and although I use it for personal calls as well, I never go over the tariff as I only use it otherwise only for family use. Does anyone else on the Forum have this as an issue and what do you do about it. At the moment I just feel I should pay the tax and be done with it but my husband is really angry with the attitude of the church especially as I earn only slightly over the minimum wage and like most of you do a lot of extra work at home for nothing. He thinks it could be put down to General expenses. I would appreciate any advice please!

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I'm sort of in the same position except the mobile phone that is in my name I dont use for personal use at all. I switch it off when we close and it only goes on when I arrive at work. It was just the easiest way to get the monthly contract we wanted (in my name) however the tax implications have never occurred to me, probably wouldn't matter in my case as I could prove it was for work only.

I would suggest giving HMRC a ring yourself and asking them. If this is the case then you may wish to consider getting a new phone either for yourself or your setting. I ended up having to change our phone number last Oct and it is gradually being used more and more. It's annoying as I am still having to carry two phones around when at work but sometime within the next 6 weeks or so I am going to change the voice mail on our old number to inform people of the new number to ring. Obviously it has also meant changing all our paperwork but this I am just doing gradually as and when I print anything off.

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i am almost certain it would be classed as a perk so taxable as you use it for personal calls... i feel it would be very wrong to ask the employer to not declare it as such... it should really have been taxed once they started paying for it...

 

Either you should get yourself a new phone so you can continue with one solely for the setting, or buy a PAYG for the setting and ensure they pay for the phone as well as the credit.. changing number is not that hard, I have done it, send message to all mobiles to give them the new number, change letter headings etc, and write standard change of number letter to them all, message on the current phone to tell them to call new number and you don't pick up any calls to your phone except personal ones.

 

You should have a dedicated work number, its ok while you are here but they would have to change it eventually, or what if you were really ill and unable to work for some reason, happened to me , off 4 months suddenly, what would happen then if your personal phone was the contact number?

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Thanks for such a quicl response! Problem is that as the Manager, I get calls from parents, prospective parents, KCC etc. at all times during the day although the setting is only open till 12.30. I would hate to lose customers so that is why the phone is on my person at all times. Had it not been for the stupid vicar that we had there would not have been a problem! We are looking towards having extensive building work done and I am hoping that by then we can have a direct land line put in but that may not happen for some time. I think it might be the best idea to get a separate phone for myself and then that would perhaps solve the problem.

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Personally I don't think you should mix work with personal phone. Apart from anything- you are not are not 'on call' for work- but you would want the phone left on for family. (and parents do seem to ring at the strangest hours!!...)

 

We have a pay as you go for work, although I do give my personal mobile number to LA ect - but I know they are only every going to call during office hours. Work phone is switched until 5pm ish -- after that the message says what hours to call, or leave a message.

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Thanks for such a quicl response! Problem is that as the Manager, I get calls from parents, prospective parents, KCC etc. at all times during the day although the setting is only open till 12.30. I would hate to lose customers so that is why the phone is on my person at all times. Had it not been for the stupid vicar that we had there would not have been a problem! We are looking towards having extensive building work done and I am hoping that by then we can have a direct land line put in but that may not happen for some time. I think it might be the best idea to get a separate phone for myself and then that would perhaps solve the problem.

 

no reason a second phone cannot be used and on all the time, but does allow you to turn it off out of hours... and if the vicar had not wanted a change the contact at all times would not be happening now

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I'm sure HMRC would view this as a taxable perk, too. However I also wonder how efficient it is for the group to pay your monthly tariff given that you appear to be mostly using the telephone to receive calls and not make them. £26 a month is a lot of money over the course of the year, and a cheap PAYG would probably be more affordable way of meeting your legal requirement to have a telephone contact available in the setting at all times.

 

If your mobile is with you all the time, what happens when you are not in the setting? If you have an appointment and need to come in late, or you're off sick? Are members of staff expected to use their own mobiles to make any necessary calls, and how can parents get a message to the setting urgently?

 

I owned and managed my own group but I had a dedicated nursery mobile as well as my own personal one. It meant that I could switch the phone off when it wasn't convenient to take calls, and kept my business and home life separate unless I chose to share my personal mobile number. Sometimes it meant carrying two mobiles, but as Inge said, the nursery one could be turned off out of reasonable office hours.

 

You might give the HMRC a call - they might suggest that you work out the balance between personal calls and those made on behalf of the setting. If you are using your personal mobile for business purposes then I think you'd have a case for charging the setting for the number of calls made as a percentage of your monthly tariff. That way, even if you have an inclusive tariff which includes calls, you could recoup some of your monthly cost.

 

I'd be careful what you say to them though - if you say that the setting is already paying your monthly bill they might seek to recoup the tax you should have paid, backdated to when the arrangement began. :(

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we also have a pay as you go phone for the setting and also a landline - the phone is a basic £10 model - no camera etc - and we top it up every 3-4 months. It is also the phone that staff take on outings and useful for texting parents to remind about INSET/ other activities too.

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I also have to phones, one is for work and the other for personal use. They are both contract and it is much easier. Although my work phone is always on, as you say people ring at all times of the day, I do have the option of turning it off when not at work and it doesn't interfere with my personal calls.

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we have no land line and are a preschool working out of community building- I have just purchased a new phone pay as you go ( preschool have paid for it ) it cost £9 from \Tesco , we were with vodafone - called them for PAC code so number could be transferred - ( called on friday - number transferred by Monday) you top up and have credit tripled- ie: topped up £10 and got an extra £20 of credit to use for the month for calls texts etc, the extra credit is not transferred to the next month but the original, top up remains.

Phone is Nokia , simple to use and enough for what you need and no camera so no safeguarding issues there- I give top up receipt to committee who pay it back to me .

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also to add it has voice mail too so messages can be left - my own number landline is used for admissions but that is my choice and to be honest has never caused any problems.I just let the answer phone deal with it :D as i do most of my calls - i like to choose who to speak to !

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We now have 2 basic mobiles(no cameras). One stays at group and is for urgent calls in (different people having to collect etc) texting messages to parents and has answerphone . Other phone is used for registering new children,answering queries from parents (don't want to do this during session if we can help it) and is kept by a rota member of staff and only switched on Mon- Fri 9 - 5. We started getting calls on home phone of staff member who does registration at ridiculous times like 9.30pm on a Sunday! As we all work part time in a variety of patterns it makes more sense that way. PAYG top ups average about £5 a month for both of them so not expensive. Parents are encouraged to text us or leave a message to let us know that Johnny is sick and wont be in. After initial hiccups it now works well.

korkycat

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i would never use my own number for work for many reasons mostly though because you are always at the beck and call of everyone

we have a pay and go and this works out about £20 per term so much cheaper

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