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New York Court Says Telecommuters Must Pay NY Tax 810

Posted by timothy
from the different-golden-rule-entirely dept.
hal9000(jr) writes "The Boston Globe is running this story on an out-of-state programmer working for a New York company who had to pay state taxes. '"New York has the right to tax 100% of a nonresident employee's income derived from New York sources," according to the 4-3 decision by Court of Appeals. The court relied on a fairness rule called the "convenience of the employer" under law that says a worker's income is taxable if he chooses to live outside the state, as opposed to if he or she was transferred there.' The dissenting opinion: 'Judge Robert Smith argued that the basis of the majority's decision that all income is taxable is "that the commissioner says it is ... The majority cites no authority at all, and offers no persuasive reason, in support of this new interpretation."'"
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New York Court Says Telecommuters Must Pay NY Tax

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  • So does this mean .. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:24PM (#12083775)
    He will get taxed the NY Income Tax AND where he is currently located? That would suck.
    • He will get taxed the NY Income Tax AND where he is currently located?

      I see a case coming before the US Supreme Court. I didn't think the states were supposed to regulate interstate comerce, but IANAL.

      Seriously, lets say I am a consultant and have a customer in Greece and I telecommute. The Greek government wants me to pay Greek income tax. The US wants me to pay US income tax. BTW, this is how I read the Greek tax regulations, but again IANAL.

      Lets say I am a web hosting provider, does the same thi
      • by Simonetta (207550) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @02:09AM (#12086290)
        Portland Oregon is a 1 million person metro area mostly in a state with no sales tax. About one quarter of the metro area is in Washington State with a 5% (I believe) sales tax and much lower state income tax.
        Most people try to take advantage of this situation by residing in Washington and working in Washington State (if possible). Then they shop for durables in Oregon. Oregon's state income tax is quite high, much more so than WA. If you live in WA and work in OR, OR state makes you pay their income tax.
        In a dual tax situation like this, the various governments watch everyone's financial situation closely to maximize their revenue. Everyone pays different amounts of tax. People who live in the no-sales-tax state are not required to pay sales tax on purchases of big-ticket items like cars that are bought in the sales tax state. One state has $15/yr car registration and the other has registration fees about ten times higher. There are also arrangements for college students not having to pay out-of-state tution to attend schools in the metro area that are technically out-of-state.
        There aren't many metro areas that have state borders in the center of them. Kansas City, New York City, St. Louis, DC, Philly, Omaha, Cincinati. There are only two major metro areas with international borders cutting through them: El Paso and Detroit. Miami is one of the most important cities of Latin America even though it isn't actually in Latin America. It's a special case; everybody's neutral ground.

        This tax situation is just going to get worse as the ultra-rich continue to pay a smaller percentage of their income to taxes through off-shore tax shelters and bribing state legislators to put specific loopholes for near individual situations into general laws. This is where someone introduces a law that no one would vote against (like making it illegal to expose your penis within 50 feet of an elementary school), and then puts a clause in the bill that would apply specifically to an individual large campaign contributor. The result of all this is that the tax burden gets shifted more each year from the rich to the middle-class.
        The smarter elements of the middle class will use the internet to increasingly take advantage of offshore tax shelters on a much smaller scale. A company needs a network analyst. In the past they would hire someone to do this as an employee. In the future someone agrees to set up and maintain a network for $1500. The person sells an old Dell PC to the company for $1500. A bank in Luxembourg transfers $1500 to the network administrator's PayPal account. The network administrator uses her PayPal debit card to buy groceries and get cash-back after a day's work at the network site. The old Dell stays in the closet. No one pays tax.
        This kind of thing is pretty transparent to a good government tax investigator. But when it becomes so common of a way of employment compensation that there are 100,000 cases a year for each government tax investigator, then there won't be much that the tax man can do to control it. There will always be some poor schmuck that gets slammed hard to set an example, just like the 12-year-old who gets slammed with a $150,000 fine for downloading a teen-idol pop song, but it will just be bad luck and its publicity will only increase the resolve of middle-class people to come up with new ways to not pay taxes.
        Eventually all these huge budget-busting but mostly symbolic government projects like the Space Station, the BigDig, and Endless_Permanent_Middle-East_War will just be abandoned in mid-process due to lack of funds from decreasing tax revenues and the unwillingness of wealthy outsiders to lend money for some politician's wet-dream fantasy.
    • by pete6677 (681676) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:00PM (#12084198)
      No. The state in which he is a resident will allow him to deduct the amount of taxes paid to other states. I have worked in one state and lived in another before, and that was how it was done. I don't think too many people would work in a different state than their home was in if it meant double taxation.
      • The state in which he is a resident will allow him to deduct the amount of taxes paid to other states.

        That would be tax reciprocity... I know some states only have agreements with bordering states and I'm not sure how those agreements work with differing rates in all. The issue here would be that TN has no income tax on regular employment income so what would you be deducting that tax from?
        -Mike
      • by 4alexnyc (826658) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:06PM (#12084248)
        Not exactly - you can deduct the tax paid to the state with the higher tax rate as a credit against tax paid in the state the lower one. Since NY has one of the highest state tax brackets (in fact, I think it might be the highest) it's usually the only state tax paid. Of course, we didn't discuss the NY City tax... (ugggh)
      • by PigBoyOhBoy (749359) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:00AM (#12085638) Journal
        The state in which he is a resident will allow him to deduct the amount of taxes paid to other states.

        I live in New Hampshire and worked for a Massachusetts company for a few years. Massachusetts siphoned off its full income tax during those years with absolutely no recourse to me because New Hampshire has no income tax. Now that doesn't for a moment mean that I don't pay tax in New Hampshire. We make up for that tax free status by having outrageous real estate taxes instead.

        But do you suppose Massachusetts cares how much I pay in real estate taxes? Boohoo.

        The real killer last tax year (2004) was that at least half of my income came from Florida. And because my deductions on the Massachusetts form are factored by the percentage of income from Massachusetts, they wanted even more of my money than usual. The more I earn outside of Massachusetts, the more I pay to Massachusetts in taxes. Go figure!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      That all those Chinese and Indian programmers that the jobs have been outsourced to will have to pay NY taxes on their Chinese/Indian pay?
  • Flawed logic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mikethefreak (735706) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:27PM (#12083800)
    By the same logic, it's for my (and all my coworkers') convenience that the Delaware based media company I work for's main office is in NYC and therefore I should ask NYS for a refund for the past 4 years. This is a dangerous precedent. -Mike
  • He lived in the state of TN... what were his taxes like there? Doesn't New York hit you for only a certain percentage? The article made it sound like his entire income was taxable. is it taxable in both states?
    That would royally suck and would certainly scare me off of doing any interstate telecommuting gigs. Yikes.

    This is kind of like Washington going after people that go across to Oregon to shop. (Or people that live in one state and cross the river to work in the other) - can't have teh cake and eat it
    • Re:Hrm, I wonder. (Score:2, Informative)

      by mnagy (854980)
      No state tax in AK, FL, NV, TX, SD, WY.

      NH, TN tax dividends and interest only.

      RI is a % of Fed liability.

      All others are a % on earnings (NY 4% - 7.7%):

      http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/ind_inc.html
  • Screw New York (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jesus 2.0 (701858) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:28PM (#12083813)
    Give me the right to vote, and I'll pay your damn taxes. Till then, up yours. I've got tea, you've got a harbor.
    • by PopeAlien (164869) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:47PM (#12084046) Homepage Journal
      Ideally in a situation like this you don't have to provide your own tea. Use the tea of the oppressor, but remember if its going anywhere near the Hudson you'll probably want to refrain from drinking the harbor-brewed tea.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:13PM (#12084316)
      I'd want them to start to have to pay for school, roads, parks, police, etc here in Arizona. That's what your lower-level (as in less than federal) taxes fund. In the case of state taxes it's all state highways, and roads on state lands, the state universities, DPS, and so on. In other words: things I and my community use.

      New York helps pay for none of that, regardless of if I work for a company based there or not. Thus, I don't see any possible reason why they need the money. Arizona needs it because living here I use those services. I don't live in NY, they don't need it.

      So ya, if they give me the right to vote in state elections, and start sending money back to my state to pay for things, I'll call this fair. Until then, I'm saying it's an issue for federal court.
  • by dido (9125) <dido@@@imperium...ph> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:28PM (#12083816)

    So does that mean that he doesn't get to keep any of his money? ;)

    Seems like a very badly ambiguous way of putting it.

  • Bad idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LordNimon (85072) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:28PM (#12083822)
    All this will do is convince companies to move their headquarters outside of NY. The long-term affect will be to reduce the amount of taxes that NY collects.

    I also think this is going to get appealed to the Federal courts. I live in Texas and work for a company that has an office here, but is headquartered in Massachussettes. I can't imagine paying MA income taxes, but it sounds like this court ruling says that I should (assuming the MA courts rule the same way).

    • Re:Bad idea (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Seumas (6865) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:33PM (#12083868)
      All this will do is convince companies to move their headquarters outside of NY

      More likely, it'll convince them to stop offering employees the option to telecommute. I've noticed that telecommuting is fizzling out as control-freak managers feel powerless when they don't have their employees ten feet away from them in a dimly lit cubicle punching code and commuting for three hours a day.

      Of course, upper-levels still seem to do a lot of telecommuting - but not so much for everyone else.
    • USA tax is a mess (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      why not make it easy and have the same tax rates wether you are in NYC or Alabama, look at all the companies/traitors incorporated in Delaware to avoid paying any tax yet they reap all the benefits of the communities they operate in to the tune of billions (and they have the cheek to call themselves American)

      a unified tax would even things out
    • Re:Bad idea (Score:2, Insightful)

      by FFON (266696)
      You said: I live in Texas and work for a company that has an office here, but is headquartered in Massachussettes

      I say: thats not what this is about.. he is VPNing and virtually working on assets that reside in NY.

      i also say: this is bogus, unless the computer he uses to VPN and do the actual 'work' is in NY too, and his fantastic4 like rubber arms stretch across to hit the keys... he is using the resources of his own state..
    • Re:Bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dslbrian (318993) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:49PM (#12084069)

      I also think this is going to get appealed to the Federal courts.

      I should hope so, this bit got me from the article:

      "New York provides the job, New York provides the professional opportunity, and New York should be able to tax that income, even if the employee for his own convenience was working outside of New York state," said Marc Violette, spokesman for state Assistant Solicitor General Julie Mereson, who won the case.

      Actually the company provided the job and opportunity and New York had nothing to do with it. As I see it, the employee isn't using NY roads, schools, police or fire services, hospitals, or really any NY public service (which is the reason a state collects taxes, no?), so why should an employee like that have to pay NY state taxes?

      Nope, I don't buy into that line at all. If it stands mabye he can send his kids tuition bill to NY marked "payment due"...

  • by PopeAlien (164869) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:29PM (#12083827) Homepage Journal
    .. lets just have everyone pay tax in every state, just in case.
  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:29PM (#12083828) Homepage
    So what if, hypothetically, I live in NY and telecommute to Florida? That should mean that 100% of my income is [i]non[/i]taxible by the state of NY, right?

    Or is the rule just "if we want your money, we can take it"?
    • Re:Interesting (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mikethefreak (735706)
      Theoretically... although this since this case was IMHO improperly decided by the court of the complaining state, the rule is "if we want your money, we can take it." The dissenting judge's statement summed it up perfectly, btw. -Mike
    • Since this decision only applies to the NY jurstiction, who exactly is going to enforce the law?

      The NY police don't have much juristiction in other states...
  • by instantkarma1 (234104) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:29PM (#12083829)
    The government rules they can tax yet more of our money.

  • judicial activism? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by superphreak (785821)
    The majority cites no authority at all, and offers no persuasive reason, in support of this new interpretation.

    is judicial activism really that surprising anymore?
  • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:30PM (#12083841) Homepage
    I don't think this has any significance, it is certain to be appealed all the way to the SCOTUS.

    Interesting issue though. It may be fair for NY to tax in some telecommuting cases. But I don't see why CA should be able to tax me on my income because I telecommute from Massachusetts. I have never worked in CA.

    25% seems to low a fraction to claim the right to tax. NY is not providing any services to the employee and that is the basis on which taxation should be decided. If they want to recover the costs of providing services to the company they should tax the company.

    • But isn't the state providing services to the business? Don't businesses deserve police protect, fire service, etc.?

      Is there some sort of compromise? Imagine what would happen if all businesses were in one state, and all persons lived in another state, and all telecommuted. Both states would need taxes.
  • Double taxation? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Seumas (6865) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:31PM (#12083849)
    Typically you pay a portion of taxes for the time you spent in each state. If you spend 50% of your time in each of two states, they usually have you pay 50% of your taxes in each. But that's if you are PHYSICALLY there.

    This sounds as if you could end up paying full income tax in the state your company is in, plus full taxes in your own state - because your local state will consider you a full-time resident (since you do live there full time).

    Not only that, but . . . how is New York offering him any representation for the taxes he pays there? He isn't a resident. He doesn't use their services. He doesn't commute. He doesn't have anything to do with anything there - other than it is where his employer is based.

    For that matter, shouldn't companies overseas who contract with American companies to provide, say - tech support - have to pay American federal income taxes? I don't see how that would be any different from this scenerio whatsoever...

    I'd sure hate to be stuck paying 56% in state income taxes, before even coming to my federal and county income taxes!
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:31PM (#12083854) Journal
    Topic says it all, and it's not rhetorical. I'm really curious about this.
  • Lately it seems that any government entity sees money, it reaches out to grab a slice, whether merited or not.

    There was some old saw... "No taxation without representation..." or something like that.

    And no, our gerrymandered Tweedledee/dums don't really count.
  • Fine... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bleckywelcky (518520) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:32PM (#12083857)
    As long as I am only taxed in one state. Last year I was taxed in 2 states because my residence was listed in one and I worked in the other. But now that I want to file a refund to get that money back in one or the other, neither will want to give me anything back.
    • Re:Fine... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      uuh? do you even know how to file taxes ? your employer deducts only 1 state at source and you use that as an offsetting credit...are you a complete moron ?
      time spent in state is a % of what you pay to that state. not more, not less.
    • H&R (Score:3, Informative)

      As long as I am only taxed in one state. Last year I was taxed in 2 states because my residence was listed in one and I worked in the other. But now that I want to file a refund to get that money back in one or the other, neither will want to give me anything back.

      I think it'd be a pretty good idea if you went to H&R Block this year. Probably bring along that tax return you nuked last year too.

  • about those taxes... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OneOver137 (674481) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:32PM (#12083859) Journal
    My wife telecommutes from OH to CA. We lived in CO for half the year, and she pays state tax in all three. Yeah, her company isn't too happy about it either. States are like sharks these days with your paycheck...but that is for another topic!
  • by linuxhansl (764171) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:32PM (#12083865)
    Remote callcenters in India? Outsources software engineering that is funded by sources from the US?

    Do these have to pay the same taxes aswell?

  • What a shocker: NY state court decides that non-resident should pay NY tax.

    If this stands, companies will simply employ tele-commuters from TX or some other state with no state income tax.
  • I'd take a job schlepping burgers at McDonalds before I'd ever stoop to working anywhere in New York.
  • Wouldn't this decision mean it's better NOT to work in NY remotely? Leave it to guys in India. I am sure NY will be happy with 10x less money they can collect on smaller salaries (I also would love to see them try to collect the tax :) Though they probably demand employers to deduct the tax and pay it directly, rather than wait for individual to pay up).
  • by zxnos (813588) <zxnoss@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:39PM (#12083944)
    ...taxation without representation?

    this from the state that raised cigarette taxes then went after people getting them out of state. if the music industry needs to look at its business model, governments need to look at their taxation model - both a looking for all the cash they can get.

  • My company is based in Chicago. I live in Arizona. If I get a second job in New York, will I soon have %300 of my base income taxed? This is ridiculous. I can see paying tax on wages earned while in the state. I can see paying taxes on wages earned from a specific company in a state. But %100 of my income as a basis for taxation? I don't think so.

    -Hope
  • To Texas, that is. No state income tax. No insane "city" income tax like they have in the Big Apple. 2700 square foot houses can be had for $175,000 or less.

    So, if you're a New York company that hires programmers, consider relocating (either in toto or a subsidiary) to Texas, where your dollar goes further, and you get to keep more of it.

    We have BBQ, TexMex, and sane gun laws (i.e., the law-abiding can own one). What we lack: 3 months of snow, subways, and george Steinbrenner.

    Up to you.

    • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:51PM (#12084097) Journal
      Don't forget Texas is trying to pass a "It isn't an income taxes because we are calling it something else" income/payroll tax.

      Things in texas are rather screwed up at the moment.
    • by Dirtside (91468) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:08PM (#12084276) Journal
      We have BBQ, TexMex, and sane gun laws
      True. On the other hand -- and I'm not sure if you've noticed -- but your state is infested with Texans.
    • Yes, but on the downside, you would be living in Texas.
  • Garnishing wages fater than a speeding rate of inflation!
    Leaping state lines in a single bound!

    He's TAXMAN!
  • Everybody seems to be pointing out the issue of two states potentially taxing, however, it's worse than that. Say I live in the US and telecommute with a company in the UK. Do I have to pay country taxes for both? How about I work in one state, and telecommute to two different locations for a company in two different states. Do all three states get to tax me? Because each state will fail to recognize the other's taxes for the same amount (it's their income to tax after all), you could be left in a situ
  • New York Taxes suck. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by John Sokol (109591) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:42PM (#12083978) Homepage Journal
    I moved out there from the Bay area 10 years ago.
    I was getting 150K yr, but found 68% of my income went to taxes!

    The City tax was higher then my federal!
    My take home after everything was $3500 a month. I couldn't make ends meet and all in all lost over $30K in the move there and move back + the operating at a loss the whole time I was there.

    With this new tax rull people who commute from New Jersey would end up paying taxes to two states!

    I am so glad to be in California...

    • I've lived in NYC for 10 years. I can't see how it is possible that if you are making 150K per year (federal tax bracket averages out to about 25% or so) is going to be less than the 2-4% you pay in NYC (depending on the year, in general city taxes have been lowered year after year during the 1990's but slipped up again after the budget crisis that occurred after 9/11)

      Maybe if you had a bunch of crazy deductions or something I suppose it is possible.

      As far as 68% of your income going to income taxes, I c
  • Authority? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by autarkeia (152712) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:43PM (#12083993) Homepage
    I think the dissenting judge's opinion in the matter is interesting:

    In a strong dissent, Judge Robert Smith argued that the basis of the majority's decision that all income is taxable is "that the commissioner says it is ... The majority cites no authority at all, and offers no persuasive reason, in support of this new interpretation."

    I live in California and just took a contract position with a company in New York. This ruling does not say anything about contractors vs. employees, but knowing New York's tax system, I would guess they want it to apply to me, too. I of course do not intend on paying NYS a single cent, since as far as I can tell they have no authority over me whatsoever, but IANAL.

    Any tax lawyers care to comment on this?
  • In setting up remote sales, and development people for a company in different locations, we often encountered many different laws (including our own gov'ts laws) about how the employees were paid in those regions. In most cases the solution was to set up a branch office - rent the space from the employee in his house and move on.
  • If his employer would cooperate, he should form a quick and dirty DBA, get paid as a business rather than an individual and he can do his OWN taxes... (and not have social secrity taken out to boot!) Of course that would also remove him from other benefits such as 401K, healthcare, etc...

    But shoot, doing a little homework here and there, a smart person could create those benefits for himself and probably do better.
  • Key Phrase... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Donoho (788900) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:47PM (#12084037) Homepage
    "New York has the right to tax 100 percent of a nonresident employee's income derived from New York sources,"

    Each employer distributes their own W2. This ruling states that 100% of the income earned from a New York based employer is subject to tax. A person who telecommuntes to New York 50% of their time and San Francisco the other 50% of their time can only be taxed by New York on the income generated from the New York Employer.
  • by Locutus (9039) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @08:56PM (#12084151)
    When did taxes become a natural law? I thought that taxes were derived from the people of the area where the taxes were used for the purpose of SERVING those paying the tax. It gets kind messy when talking about the Federal Government but it's pretty easy with regards to the States. Especially when one does not reside in the state.

    This is just plain wrong. IMO.

    LoB
  • State Court? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr.Sharpy (472377) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:02PM (#12084219)
    Why was this even tried in a state court? It's a case of interstate commerce...wouldn't that fall under federal jurisdiction? The fact that the state court didn't dismiss the case outright, to me, shows their bias and/or incompetence. Anybody have any insight into why a state court would hear this case?
  • hmmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by khallow (566160) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:03PM (#12084224)
    While I find New York's argument dubious, it does appear that this is a fairly common problem [state.pa.us] and that some states would rule in the same way that New York did. From the link above (for Pennsylvannia):

    I can provide you with the position that the Commonwealth would take, had taxpayer been a nonresident of Pennsylvania during 1999 and 2000, in respect to the situation described in your letter. This may prove helpful in understanding New York's activities.

    Under the personal income tax, a nonresident individual who earns compensation for services performed in Pennsylvania is subject to the income tax because it is Pennsylvania source income. 72 P.S. 7301(k). The employer would be responsible for withholding and remitting state income tax for all payroll periods in the tax year when such person performs services in the Commonwealth.[2]

    With the advent of individuals being permitted to work at locations other than the employer's place of business, states began examining whether their income tax laws were being complied with. If an employee is permitted to perform services/duties from his home or a place other than the within the state where he would normally report for work, and when such person's employer has no business reason[3] to have the employee work outside of the office/facility, such state could attempt to subject the income to tax. The rationale for this rule, at times referred to as "the convenience of the employer test" is that if the employee is permitted to work at home for his/her own convenience/ preference, the state where he/she would normally report for work should be entitled to the income tax for compensation or wages earned during those time periods.

    While not published in a regulation, Pennsylvania follows this theory for resident and nonresident individuals who would report to a Pennsylvania location for work, but actually work elsewhere for their own convenience.

    In other words, this seems common practice and I really don't see that this hinders telecommuting unless the state of residence also attempts to tax those same wages.

    Here's an interesting bill called the Telecommuter Tax Fairness Act [telcoa.org]. From it:

    Convenience of The Employer Rule

    The Telecommuter Tax Fairness Act (the Act), first introduced last September by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), would eliminate a state tax rule known as the "convenience of the employer" rule. New York is among the states to apply the convenience rule. Pennsylvania and Nebraska have maintained similar rules.

    Under the rule in New York, a nonresident who elects to telecommute part-time to a New York employer may owe taxes to New York on 100% of his or her income, including the income earned at home. Because the telecommuter's home state may also tax the income earned at home, the telecommuter risks taxation by both states on the same income.

    Consider, for example, a Connecticut resident who works for a firm in Manhattan and telecommutes 2 days a week. In addition to taxing the income the employee earns while physically in New York, New York may tax the telecommuter on the income he or she earned at home in Connecticut: New York may consider the income the telecommuter earned in Connecticut as New York source income.

    Connecticut, however, may take a different view. It may regard the income earned in Connecticut as Connecticut source income. Thus, Connecticut may tax its resident on the income earned there and may not grant a credit for taxes paid to New York on that income. As a result, the nonresident employee may be taxed twice on the income earned at home. By making telework costly for nonresidents, the convenience rule discourages this kind of interstate employment.

    New York's Harsh Ap

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:04PM (#12084231)
    As someone who telecommutes across state lines I have to say that this ruling has no basis in logic. Living in TN, he:

    • uses no infrastructure in the state of New York (roads, police, etc.)
    • has no representation in the state of New York (i.e. no right to vote in NY elections)
    • is not considered a citzen of the state of New York.

    Being taxed on his entire salary seems ridiculous to me.

  • by Tsiangkun (746511) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @09:20PM (#12084391) Homepage
    no problem, I"ll drop off the check next time I'm in the office.
  • by RoadWarriorX (522317) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:02PM (#12084724) Homepage
    Lets remind our distinguished ladies and gentlemen that the so-called "commuter" income tax is really... (drum roll please)

    Taxation Without Representation

    It's really that simple. I am not sure why the courts cannot understand it. Any third grader in a history lesson can understand that.

    Other than having a job in Anytown, USA:
    • I cannot use many of the city's cool services, like recreation, that are for "citizens only".
    • I cannot complain about the issues plauging the city (some I really care about!)
    • (and worst of all) I cannot vote in that city.

    I would think that any of the founding fathers would not stand any of this ridiculousness. It was a foundation of a revolution.

    Of course, I may be a little facetious, but taxation is just out of control.

    Whew! I feel a little better.
    • Just become a convicted felon. You still have to pay taxes, but can't vote in many (any?) place(s).

      Well, maybe they don't pay taxes. As a demographic, many convited felons are probably not high-earners. The gov'ts own stats say almost 1/2 of all "taxpayers" don't pay anything, and 80% of all income tax is paid by 20% of us. (I am sure even minimum wage drones get tagged for social security and medicare, just not any significant income tax).

      So, the flip side is this; why not "no representation without ta

  • IBM (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stalus (646102) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:51PM (#12085549)
    Knowing how New York tries to get tax money wherever it can, I wouldn't be surprised to see them attempt to extend this to all IBM employees just because the W2's have a New York address.
  • Not a huge deal.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cookiepus (154655) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:03AM (#12085669) Homepage
    There's been a lot of condemnation of this, but it sounds OK to me. A lot of people who live in NJ (for example) commute to NYC to work. It's understood that they pay taxes.

    They do not get to vote in NY, but they pay taxes because that's where they make the money. Everyone is OK with that.

    If someone lived in NJ and only came into the office 1 day a weekm they still have to pay same NY taxes, because the fact that their employer kindly let them work from home doesn't change the fact that they work in NY. They don't pay 1/5th of NY's tax.

    Instead of coming in once a week, this guy doesn't come in at all. But it's not so different than the guy who only comes in once a week. The employer lets him work from home, but he's an employer of a NY office. He works in NY.

    Some mentioned the reasons why this must be the case. NYC makes ample investment to attract employers, and it's meant to make that money back in income taxes. The company this guy works for benefits from these advantages. If he's really offended at having to pay the tax in a state where he works (even if he doesn't show up) then he should find a job in-state so that he'll only have to pay one tax.

    The fact that he doesn't use NY's resources is a non-issue. The fact that you don't use some service doesn't entitle you to a refund, and he's no different.
  • by thefirelane (586885) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:40AM (#12085853)
    New York provides the job, New York provides the professional opportunity, and New York should be able to tax that income, even if the employee for his own convenience was working outside of New York state,

    This is an amazingly important quote, because it shows the psychology of these people.... New York doesn't provide the job, the company does!. New York provides the schools, roads, and other things which tele-commuters do not use. This is such an amazingly incorrect and self-serving decision... I hope it goes to appeal.
  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @08:13AM (#12087484) Homepage
    Someone needs to do SOMETHING about these judges making laws out of thin air.

    Clearly this ruling is contrary to the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution. By this court's "logic" Everyone employed by any company has to pay taxes to EVERY municipality and state that the company has a presence in.

    People love to talk of the greed of corporations for money, and that talk is somewhat justified. Too little and seldom, however, is the talk of the greed of GOVERNMENTS who think they have a God given right to a "cut" of all money that flows through the economy.

    When is this court going to demand income taxes from all those offshore Indian programmers that I'm sure more than one NYC basef firm employs?

    In the long run, if this were to stand, and I think it won't, because federal judges, being bigger pompous asses than even state judges, won't stand for federal authority to be usurped, this tax scheme would have a DEVASTATING effect on NYC and it's economy.

What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying. -- Nikita Khruschev

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