Op-Ed: CT needs federal law to prevent double taxation of telecommuters

Regarding “Malloy on rail vs. highway expansion: ‘All of the above’” (Jan. 8, 2015), a comprehensive transportation plan must aggressively promote the Internet as a component of the mass transit system.

Widespread telecommuting can reduce traffic congestion, costly wear and tear on roads and rails, and the need to expand such infrastructure. It can minimize the disruption that any such expansion causes. However, New York State tax authorities continue to threaten Connecticut’s ability to exploit the transportation benefits of the Web.

Op-ed submit bugNew York taxes Connecticut residents who sometimes choose to telecommute to their New York employers on 100 percent of their wages – not just the wages they earn when they work in New York, but also the wages they earn when they work from home, in Connecticut. New York taxes the Connecticut income despite the fact that Connecticut can tax it, too. The result for many commuters is double taxation on their Connecticut earnings, a potent deterrent to telecommuting.

In the last session of Congress, members of Connecticut’s delegation, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Reps. Jim Himes, Rosa DeLauro, and Elizabeth Esty, sponsored legislation to prevent states like New York from taxing nonresidents on wages they earn when they are physically present in a different state. The measure would eliminate the significant penalty for choosing a Web-based commute.

This proposal must become law for Connecticut to achieve a truly “all of the above” solution to its transportation challenges.

Nicole Belson Goluboff of Scarsdale, N.Y., is author of “The Law of Telecommuting” and “Telecommuting for Lawyers.”

 

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