The Companies Mandating Employees Return to the Office

To help combat the risks of remote work, corporations need to bring together information from multiple departments. For instance, managing just one international remote employee may require input from immigration, corporate tax, payroll, HR, and more. Often, it falls on technology teams to discover a technical solution that streamlines the entire remote approval process and eliminates redundant tasks through automation. The increased popularity of remote work gives states a new opportunity to attract workers. Almost all states have room to improve, so states that simplify their tax treatment of remote workers and protect them from undue burdens will gain an advantage. Suppose you become liable for collecting and remitting sales tax for states due to remote work.

  • While it is the employer’s responsibility to apply tax law correctly, any missteps it makes will ultimately impact you financially.
  • Similarly, California has an economic nexus rule providing that every corporation doing business in the state, meaning actively engaging in any transaction for the purpose of financial or pecuniary gain or profit, will have nexus.
  • Almost all states have room to improve, so states that simplify their tax treatment of remote workers and protect them from undue burdens will gain an advantage.
  • Let’s say if the government shut down the office and said everyone had to work from home, how could New York sustain a position that that was a convenience day?
  • In contrast, business travelers visit clients or other employer locations from time to time, often on a more infrequent or sporadic basis.

But in some cases, when the worker is totally living and working in a state, that state might rightfully want to tax that income and not offset taxes for the non-living, non-working state, leading to cases of double taxation, according to tax policy nonprofit Tax Foundation. These rules require taxpayers who live in one state but work in another to pay income taxes to their employer’s state even if they never even visit their employer’s state. It requires any employee of an in-state company to file taxes in New York unless the employee can prove that remote work is “necessary” and not just “convenient”. The tax issues related to remote work have an effect on passthrough entities (e.g., partnerships and S corporations), not just C corporations. In addition, most owners of passthrough entities are taxed on their distributive share of income in their resident state and the state-sourced income in the nonresident states in which the passthrough entity conducts business. To avoid double taxation, most states allow their residents to claim a credit for taxes paid to nonresident states on the same income.


But they established all of these rules that asserted this right to tax someone who was no longer doing work in that state. These were temporary rules, but presumably there are going to be audits of workers for this period that come up. Often, states extend their respective tax jurisdiction statutes to the extent allowed under the U.S.

All these mandates are getting thrown out, not based on testimony by doctors. They’re being thrown out because the administrative agencies in the federal government or the states just didn’t have the power to do it. You definitely could see that as an avenue for taxpayers to challenge some of these rules. The courts were saying, “Well, look. The work that this employee is doing is of the nature that it could have been done in New York, so even though their employer asked them to stay at home, we still think that it’s a convenience day.” Then they extended this, in some other cases, beyond just local telecommuters to people who were working remotely from across the country. The U.S. Constitution limits states’ and localities’ ability to impose tax on a person or activity, particularly as it relates to the taxation of interstate commerce or nonresident persons.

Seamlessly transform how your employees work

In that case, you’ll need to register for a sales tax permit and file sales tax returns to that state on the schedule that applies to your business (usually based on the number or value of transactions). If you have employees who recently moved to a new state and worked remotely, they’ll need to establish a new domicile, or permanent residence, to avoid being taxed in both their current and former states. Many states will audit former residents to determine if they’re no longer a resident.

remote work and taxes

These are agreements between states to treat taxpayers who live in one state but work in another as if they worked in their state of residence. In this case, you usually pay unemployment tax to the employee’s state of residence. If you work remotely in another state from your employer, you’re generally only subject to the laws and taxes of the state where you’re working. Deductions in particular are subject to certain limitations and restrictions, and the eligibility and calculation of each deduction depend on the specific circumstances of the individual taxpayer. If you’re unsure about how to file your remote work taxes, you should consult with a tax professional. In the US, there are no special tax deductions exclusively for remote workers, but there are some tax deductions that may be available to remote workers depending if they work as a freelancer or are considered self-employed.

The Future Of Tax Policy For Remote Workers

In October 2020, six months after the pandemic began, 71% of people with jobs that could be done from home were primarily working from home. Census data show that around 18% of the country’s labor force is still working from home, while many more have been given the option. All this remote work has shined a light on an obscure piece of state tax codes—the tax liability of remote workers. In a new report, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) ranks the states based on how they tax workers who work within but live outside their borders. If you offer taxable employee benefits such as employee stipends, you’ll also need to report the additional taxable income to the states that require it. This is because taxable benefits are additional income and must appear on an employee’s Form W-2.

For remote workers using hybrid models, this situation arises if they commute from their out-of-state residence to the office a couple of days a week. Apportionment drives the calculation of state taxable income or the taxable portion of a state’s franchise tax base. It also is a key driver of a taxpayer’s effective tax rate for financial statement reporting of current and deferred taxes. As such, it is imperative to accurately reflect changes in the calculation of apportionment during the tax year, as well as part of the tax compliance process.

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