Brown Introduces Senate Measure To Simplify Mobile Workforce Tax Rules

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Nov. 5 -- Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced a bill that would set limits on which states can tax the earnings of mobile workers.

Under the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act (S. 1645), no wages earned by an employee could be subject to income tax by any state other than the employee's state of residence or the state in which the employee is present and working for more than 30 days in a year.

The legislation, introduced by Brown with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), aims to clear up inconsistencies in state income tax laws that impose differing time frames on mobile workers. Employees and employers face up to 41 state income tax reporting requirements that differ according to length of stay in a state and amount of income earned.

“Employees and employers shouldn't be burdened with complex tax reporting requirements because jobs in the modern economy involve work in multiple states,” Thune said in a statement announcing the bill.

The law would take effect on Jan. 1 of the second year after the bill was enacted.

The bill is the Senate's companion legislation to H.R. 1129, introduced by Rep. Howard Cole (R-N.C.) in March and referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The bill, which has bipartisan support, was then referred to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law in April.

Similar legislation has been proposed in past congressional sessions and the current House bill faces strong opposition from state governments.

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