Study Says Employees Who Work from Home Should Pay a New Tax

Tara C. Mahadevan
·3 min read

A new study says that employees who decide to continue working remotely after the pandemic is over should pay a tax to help low-income workers.

According to the study from Deutsche Bank, called “What We Must Do to Rebuild,” employees who work from home quickly collect financial benefits, such as reduced costs for travel, food, and clothing. The report advises that the employer would pay the tax if it doesn’t supply the employee with a permanent desk; otherwise, the employee would be responsible for the tax.

“Our calculations suggest the amounts raised could fund material income subsidies for low-income earners who are unable to work remotely and thus assume more ‘old economy’ and health risks,” Jim Reid, global head of fundamental credit strategy and thematic research at Deutsche Bank, said in the study.

With an average salary of $55,000 and a tax rate of five percent, the Deutsche Bank approximates that a person would pay over $10 per day for the tax, which would create an extra $48 billion a year. That money would then be used to issue $1,500 grants to citizens who need financial help.

The report says that the tax should only be put into use when the government doesn’t suggest that people work from home, like during the pandemic. The tax should also not apply to low-income and self-employed workers.

As the COVID-19 health crisis has endured in the U.S., many employers asked their employees to work remotely to curb transmission. Now, as some businesses have returned to their offices, more employers are still allowing their staff to work remotely.

Before the pandemic, about 5.4 percent of the American workforce worked from home, a number that later surged to 56 percent during the health crisis.

“The sudden shift to WFH means that, for the first time in history, a big chunk of people have disconnected themselves from the face-to-face world yet are still leading a full economic life,” researcher Luke Templeman explained. “That means remote workers are contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits.”

As one might expect, people had a lot to say about the proposed tax.

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