Today’s manufacturing requires flexibility and a mobile workforce. Their work can often take them around the country, crossing state lines to engage in routine repairs, upgrades and other tasks that deliver growth. They are often needed to take their skilled services across America as part of the critical response efforts to natural disasters. In just one recent example, Hurricane Sandy brought out an all-hands-on-deck approach to the recovery efforts, with companies sending employees to repair the massive damage and help a battered region back to its feet.
Unfortunately, the way our tax code is structured regarding out of state workers can actually end up punishing these employers and employees, forcing them to adhere to arbitrary and burdensome compliance requirements. In particular, it takes a toll on small and medium-sized manufacturers. The tax code is complex enough without placing another obstacle in the way of manufacturers’ ability to take care of their business.
Today, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation that could help ease the tax burden currently plaguing American manufacturers simply because their employees travel outside of their home states on work assignments. The Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act would apply consistency within tax rules among the states – and simplify the current maze of differing state tax rules applying to the mobile workforce by creating a 30-day bright-line test for when a state can assess income tax on an out-of-state employee who is temporarily working in that state.
The mobile workforce bill is a common-sense clarification that will provide certainty to both businesses and states alike, and that’s a win-win in our eyes and the NAM will work with Congress to advance this pro-manufacturing legislation as quickly as possible.
Background: The NAM thanks Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Thune (R-SD), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Rob Portman (R-OH) for introducing the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act. The Senate bill mirrors legislation (H.R. 1129) introduced earlier this year in the House by Reps. Howard Coble (R-NC) and Hank Johnson (D-GA).
Christina Crooks is Director of Tax Policy for the National Association of Manufacturers
Before joining the NAM, Crooks served as senior manager of government affairs for Financial Executives International, where she advocated on behalf of the association’s membership of senior-level business executives on tax, corporate treasury, pension and benefit issues. Previously, she worked as a legislative assistant to Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE), a senior member of the House Committee on Financial Services. Christina handled financial services issues for the Congressman during consideration of the Dodd-Frank Act, and also worked on small business and judiciary issues. Christina earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Delaware and a M.A. in Political Science from American University.
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