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  • Michael J. Conard, Jr. EA

Understanding the Tax Implications of Remote Work: A Guide for Employers and Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards remote work, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. As a CPA firm based in De Pere, we've noticed an uptick in questions surrounding the tax implications of this new work arrangement. This guide aims to clarify some of these concerns for both employers and employees.


#### State Tax Obligations


One of the most confusing aspects of remote work is understanding state tax obligations. If an employee lives in one state but works for a company based in another, both states may have a claim on the employee's income. Employers in Green Bay, for example, may have remote employees scattered across different states. It's crucial to consult with a tax professional to navigate the complex web of state tax laws and avoid potential penalties.


#### Home Office Deductions


Working from home brings the possibility of home office deductions. However, the rules are stringent. The space must be used exclusively for work and must be the principal place of business to qualify. Tax preparation becomes more complicated when trying to claim these deductions, as you'll need to allocate costs for utilities, rent, and other expenses proportionally. It's advisable to consult a CPA to ensure you're meeting all IRS requirements.


#### Employer Withholding Responsibilities


Employers also face new challenges in withholding taxes for remote employees. If your employee resides in a different state, you may be required to withhold taxes for that state in addition to federal taxes. Companies in De Pere should be particularly cautious, as failure to do so can result in hefty fines and penalties.


#### Unemployment Taxes


Another area that often gets overlooked is unemployment taxes. Typically, these are paid to the state where the employee performs the work. For remote workers, this could be a different state from where the company is headquartered. Employers in Green Bay should be aware of this and make the necessary adjustments to their tax withholding practices.


#### Record-Keeping and Documentation


Proper record-keeping is essential when it comes to remote work tax implications. Employers should maintain accurate records of where their employees are working from and for how long. This information is crucial for tax preparation and can save you a lot of headaches down the line. Employees should also keep records of their work-related expenses, as these can often be deducted.


In conclusion, the tax implications of remote work are complex and ever-changing. Employers and employees based in De Pere and Green Bay should consult a CPA specializing in tax preparation to navigate these murky waters. As remote work continues to be a significant part of our lives, understanding its tax implications is more important than ever.

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