The pandemic shifted how we do work. It forced us to transition to a work from home or remote status. For some, the shift was painful, and we returned to the office as soon as we were able. For others, the new setup had benefits. We found we enjoyed the ability to work within our own space and even the freedom to live farther from the office than we once did. As a result, a segment of the workforce never went back to the office after the government lifted the restrictions that came with the pandemic.
Why are tax considerations different for remote workers?
Our tax obligations are often tied to where we are when we earn income. In addition to federal taxes, this also impacts state and even local tax obligations. Some workers are finding state taxing authorities expect a tax filing even if they are not residents within the state. Workers may need to file a non-resident tax return for any state they earn income, even if its just a few days sitting at a laptop in a rental unit.
What if I do not file in all states I worked?
Some states play hardball. New York is notorious for coming after taxpayers for state tax obligations, but it is not the only one. North Carolina, for example, also expects those who work remotely within their state to file non-resident tax returns. A failure to do so can result in penalties and interest for a failure to file.
How can I make the process easier?
With all things tax, taking the time to have organized and thorough records helps. Two key areas to record include:
- Dates. If you travel and work in various locations, keep track of which days you were in which city and state. This will help you determine where you may owe taxes, and where you do not.
- Photos. If you have a dedicated home office and are either self-employed or do contract work, you likely qualify for a home office deduction. If you choose to take this deduction, get a photo of the home office to show that it is a space used solely for work — not simply a corner of the dinning table.
Having this paperwork in order makes it easier to respond to a tax audit.
If you receive notification of an impending audit, know you do not have to go it alone. The attorneys at Goldburd McCone can use their experience to advocate on your behalf to better ensure your interests are protected throughout the process.