False claim immigrants don’t pay taxes, housing costs Fact check

Catherine Stanton, past chair of the AICPA’s state and local tax committee, says she’s fielded an increasing number of questions about out-of-state remote situations from clients, both employees and employers. To avoid this, it’s important to notify your job where you’re living so it can withhold tax from the correct state. It’s also important to consult a tax professional, since the tax situation — as well as what it takes to be a resident of that particular state — varies drastically by state and is far from intuitive.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended the home office deduction through 2025 for employees who “receive a paycheck or a W-2 exclusively from an employer,” according to the IRS. If you receive a Federal W-2 form from your employer then it doesn’t matter if you work from home 100% of the time, 50% of the time or not at all – you can’t deduct work expenses to reduce your taxable income. But according to Obih, you can ask your employer to reimburse you for office expenses, co-working space fee or whatever else you have to pay for out of pocket.


The IRS offers more guidance on understanding the employee vs. independent contractor designation and it might help you sort out the difference so that you can accurately pay and tax your employees under the right work regulations. According to a study by Smallbizgenius, more than 4.3 million people how do taxes work for remote jobs in the USA work remotely. As we see the trend of remote positions continue to increase across the United States, the need to understand payroll taxes for remote employees becomes more important. That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive list of tax information that’s easy for you to navigate.

how remote work taxes are paid

To avoid paying taxes on the same income twice, the taxpayer can credit the taxes paid in their non-resident state against their home state’s tax liability (or vice versa depending on which state has higher taxes). There are also local taxes that you may have to pay or withhold from your employees’ paychecks, depending on their state of residence. As 1099 contractors aren’t employees, they must pay their taxes as an independent business to their state of residence (if working remotely).

Payroll factor

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  • They do this by using W-4 withholding forms that employees fill out before their hire dates.
  • Each situation can bring its own tax implications, and the onboarding of remote employees requires careful attention.
  • As you read, you will gain a solid understanding of payroll taxes for remote employees, as well as factors employers should consider before navigating employee payroll taxes.
  • The only real difference is if your state has local income tax regulations across cities or counties.
  • One of the most important things in properly filing taxes as a remote worker is enlisting the help of a qualified tax professional to assist in filing.
  • So if you’re not quite sure how to handle your taxes this year, you may be able to save money and have greater peace of mind if you work with a tax professional.

For instance, Philadelphia took the position that if employees living outside the city were required to work from home by the employer because of the pandemic, those individuals were not subject to the city’s wage tax. Conversely, Pennsylvania took the position that employees working in a different jurisdiction solely by virtue of the pandemic would be treated as if they were in whichever jurisdiction they would have been pre-pandemic. All of these apportionment changes can first be expected to affect quarterly financial statement reporting and estimated payments, then ultimately the preparation and filing of state and local income and franchise tax returns. If you are considered self-employed and you work remotely, you can write off your internet expenses as a business expense. You can also deduct your home office space if you’re working as a freelancer, since you’re paying rent to have the space. The company that you freelance for should have you fill out a 1099-form if you’re based in the US.

What is the ‘Convenience of Employer’ Test?

A particularly complex one is a situation wherein an employee is temporarily working remotely from another state, both outside of their employer’s state and their state of residence. Because where the work occurs is one of the primary determinants of where a remote worker pays income tax, temporary remote conditions are often confusing. As remote work becomes a popular model, employees and employers must better understand how this type of employment works when paying taxes. After all, misunderstandings at tax time often result in severe financial penalties for employers and employees alike. Obih has seen eligible taxpayers avoid home office deductions because they’re afraid it’ll increase their risk of an audit. “Don’t have a fear of taking the deductions and the tax credits and benefits that are available to you just because of an audit,” she says.

  • The tax rules for remote workers that work and live in the same state are simple.
  • “States have become aggressive, especially on the coasts, seeking to tax employees who aren’t present in their state,” Hagerman said.
  • The closest state is West Virginia, which exempts approximately 95 percent of commuters via its reciprocity agreements with Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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