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Your Top Tax Questions About Working Remotely, Answered

Last spring, many of us were asked to leave the office and begin working remotely from home. If you were one of them, you know that presented a lot of issues to be solved as you juggled work and family. It was a tumultuous time, and congratulations for dealing with it powerfully and creating solutions that worked for everyone. Whew!

Now, with tax time approaching, there are tax implications of working remotely that you need to address, and we are here to help. So, let’s look at the tax issues of remote employment.

What tax issues? I still pay tax on my income, right? Yes indeed. The income from your job will be reported to you on a W-2 in January, and you’ll report that income on your tax return. Nothing there has changed, at least for the federal tax return. But you may have special tax issues to deal with when you file your state income tax return unless you live and work in a state that has no income tax.

What’s different about state returns for remote employment? If you live in the same state in which your employer is located, state taxes are pretty straightforward. But when the pandemic hit and commuting to the office became a thing of the past, many people left urban areas and moved to the less-populated country where it was less expensive to live. If you crossed state lines to do that and now live in a different state from your former office, you may deal with the income tax rules of two states, not just one.

Oh no, do I owe taxes to both states? Good question—it depends. Most states look to your physical presence in determining whether to tax you. If that’s the case, if you live and work in one state for an employer in another state, you will only owe tax to the state in which you live and work. But each state is different, so be sure to use tax preparation software such as TurboTax® that considers the facts and circumstances of your employment situation considering the tax laws of the states involved.

Can I deduct the costs of working from home, such as my computer, internet, office furniture, and supplies? Probably not. Unfortunately, the tax act passed at the end of 2018 axed those deductions for most employees, with the exception for teachers that allows them to deduct up to $250 for supplies used in the classroom. If you are not entitled to a deduction for your expenses, your best bet is to ask your employer to give you a non-taxable reimbursement for those costs.

When it’s time to file your taxes, TurboTax® is here to help!

From simple to complex taxes, TurboTax® has you covered. And when you need help, actual experts are standing by — and can even do your taxes for you, start to finish with TurboTax Live®. Getting your biggest possible tax refund has never been easier. And as a credit union member, you can save up to $15 on TurboTax®Click here to get started today!


The information in this article for general educational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. Please discuss your particular circumstances with an appropriate professional before taking action.

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