Should remote workers pay a ‘Work From Home' tax?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Economists have proposed an interesting question: If you work from home, would you be willing to pay a tax of $10 a day?

Right off the bat, it’s hard to imagine many would like that idea, but what if the money would help others struggling during the pandemic?

This isn’t a real thing yet, just an idea from economists at Deutsche Bank.

According to the research report titled “What We Must Do to Rebuild,” employees who work from home are not buying gas, paying a sales tax on coffee, buying takeout lunches or engaging in other basic everyday things that keep the economy strong.

“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,” said researcher Luke Templeman in the report. “That means remote workers are contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits.”

On an average salary of $55,000 at a tax rate of 5%, Deutsche Bank estimates the average person would pay more than $10 a day in tax, and raise a total of $48 billion a year.

The money would then go into a fund to provide $1,500 grants to people who can’t work from home and make less than $30,0000.

The report suggests the employer would pay the tax if the worker is not a permanent employee. Otherwise, the employee would pay the tax.

The report also says the tax should only apply outside times when the government advises people to work from home, like during the pandemic. Low-income workers and the self-employed wouldn’t have to pay the tax.