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APA Supports Remote Mobile Worker Act With Recommended Changes

BY: Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq. | 07/10/20

APA urged congressional leaders to support S. 3995, the Remote and Mobile Worker Relief Act of 2020, that would create a permanent 30-day safe harbor against nonresident income taxation and expand that safe harbor to 90 days during the COVID‑19 pandemic. APA also recommended two critical amendments to the proposed legislation to protect workers during the current pandemic and in the future: (1) expand the emergency extension to at least 180 days; and (2) change the bill to a disaster preparedness tool for future emergencies.

S. 3995 would not cover professional athletes, professional entertainers, qualified production employees, or certain public figures. Though S. 3995 does not mention healthcare professionals, the bill sponsors, Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said the bill “would ensure that medical professionals from around the country who supported areas hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic do not face unexpected or increased state income tax bills.”

“The bill would also address potential problems remote workers are facing during the pandemic, including the possibility of having their state income taxes become out of balance because they worked from home in a different state than their ordinary place of employment during the pandemic,” the senators said. In this regard, S. 3995 expands on the protections of the Mobile Workforce bill by providing that, during the pandemic, workers who telecommute from out of state would be treated as though their wages were earned in the state of their primary work location.

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Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq., is Senior Manager of Government Relations for the APA.