CVI Template and Guidelines Presentation_12-2013



CVI Template and Guidelines Presentation_12-2013
State Payroll Issues
Stephanie Boris, Senior Manager, State and Local Tax
November 4, 2015
BDO USA, LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership, is the U.S.
member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by
guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of
independent member firms. BDO is the brand name for the BDO
network and for each of the BDO Member Firms.
• Withholding for telecommuters
• Living in one state; performing work in another
• Impact of payroll on nexus and apportionment
• Unclaimed property
APA - Western PA Chapter – 11.4.15
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Withholding for telecommuters
Withholding for telecommuters
What is a telecommuter?
- An employee who works from a remote location outside of a traditional office
When is this an issue for state income tax withholding?
- When the employee works in a state that is different than the state in which the
employer’s office is located
Where to withhold
- Generally where services are performed by the employee
- In the case of a telecommuter: resident state
- Exceptions: Look at the state taxation of nonresidents
- Convenience of the employer rule (NY, NE, PA): if employer is in NY and
employee is working in another state for convenience (rather than necessity),
income is sourced to NY
- Typically credit for taxes paid in other states allowed in resident state
- Exception example: CT does not allow a credit for taxes paid to NY on earnings
for work performed in CT because CT does not recognize NY’s right to tax the
income (NJ does allow)
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Withholding for telecommuters
Proposed Federal Legislation
- Telecommuter Tax Fairness Act
- Introduced every year since 2004 – never enacted
- Would prohibit states from applying the convenience of employer test
- Multi-State Tax Worker Fairness Act
- Introduced 2014 – not enacted
- Avoids the double-taxation potential; have to be physically in the state
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Living in one state; Performing work in
Living in one state; performing work in another
Term = “mobile workforce”
Employee business travel can result in a state personal income tax filing requirement
for the employee, as well as a withholding or reporting requirement for the employer
States have not reached a consensus regarding the threshold level of in-state activity
that triggers a tax obligation = significant administrative burden
Analysis for mobile employees:
- Determine state of residency
- Determine whether a reciprocity agreement exists
- Evaluate each state’s resident/nonresident taxation policies
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Living in one state; performing work in another
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Source: COST Mobile Workforce Briefing Book (Sept. 9, 2009)
Living in one state; performing work in another
Proposed Federal Legislation
- Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act
- Introduced each year since 2012 – not enacted
- Prohibits a state from taxing a nonresident employee’s wages unless the
nonresident employee works in the state > 30 days during a calendar year
- Exempts the employer of a covered employee from any withholding or reporting
- Does not apply to professional athletes, professional entertainers, and certain
public figures
Multistate Tax Commission model statute
- Model Mobile Workforce Withholding and Individual Income Tax Statute
- Employer is not required to withhold personal income tax on a nonresident
employee’s compensation if < 20 work days in a state
- Traveling employee is not required to pay tax to the source state as long as the
employee has no other income attributable to the state
- Exceptions to the 20-day rule apply to professional athletes and entertainers,
construction workers, and certain key employees
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Impact of payroll on nexus and
Impact of payroll on nexus and apportionment
Nexus = the term used to describe the types of contacts necessary to establish a
state’s right to impose an income tax obligation
- Generally: A corporation is subject to tax in the state in which it is incorporated,
and also may be subject to tax in any other states in which its property,
employees, or other agents are physically present on a regular and systematic
Solicitation of sales protected for income tax
- Public Law 86-272 prohibits a state from taxing the income of an out-of-state
corporation (i.e., a corporation that is not incorporated in the taxing state) if the
corporation’s only in-state activity is solicitation of orders by company
representatives for sales of tangible personal property, which orders are sent
outside the state for approval or rejection and, if approved, are filled by shipment
or delivery from a point outside the state
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Impact of payroll on nexus and apportionment
Telecommuters and mobile workforce performing corporate (i.e., non-sales
solicitation) activities = nexus
- Examples of non-sales activities: accounting, recruiting, marketing, software
Factor presence nexus
- Example: a corporation has substantial nexus in a state if it is organized or
commercially domiciled in the state, or if the property, payroll or sales of the
corporation in the state exceeds one of the following thresholds: $50,000 of
property, $50,000 of payroll, $500,000 of sales, or 25 percent of total property,
total payroll or total sales
- CA, CO, NY, OH, WA
- PL 86-272 protection still trumps
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Impact of payroll on nexus and apportionment
- Method used to determine the amount of income subject to tax in a state (FTI +/state modifications = state taxable income; state taxable income x apportionment
= income subject to tax)
- May consist of a property factor, a payroll factor, and a sales factor
- Trend has been to heavily weight the sales factor or use only a sales factor
- Payroll factor
- Numerator = compensation paid in the state
- Sourcing (MTC rules)
- Where the service is performed
- If performed in more than one state, source to base of operations
- As a practical matter: states want to tie to state unemployment
compensation reports
- Denominator = compensation paid everywhere
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Unclaimed property
Unclaimed property
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have enacted unclaimed property laws
The purpose of unclaimed property laws is to ensure the protection of abandoned
property until the rightful owner is located; states use any derivative funds earned on
such property for the public good
Unclaimed property is not considered a tax
States actively pursue unclaimed property as an additional source of revenue for the
state, which avoids raising taxes
Generally intangible personal property for which there has been no owner activity for
a specified period of time (“i.e., dormancy period”)
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Unclaimed property
Examples of unclaimed property:
– Uncashed payroll or commission checks
– Uncashed payable/vendor checks
– Gift certificates/gift cards
– Customer merchandise credits, layaways, deposits, refunds or rebates
– Overpayments/unidentified remittances
– Suspense accounts
– Unused/outstanding benefits (non-ERISA)
– Credits written off to miscellaneous income/bad debt expense accounts
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Unclaimed property
The U.S. Supreme Court in Texas v. New Jersey, established the
following unclaimed property jurisdictional priority rules:
• First, to the state of the owner’s last known address, if known, or
• Second, to the state of the holder’s corporate domicile (i.e., state of
incorporation for incorporated entities and state of
formation/principal place of business for unincorporated entities).
Priority rules in Texas v. New Jersey were re-affirmed in the subsequent
cases Pennsylvania v. New York (escheat of money orders) and Delaware
v. New York (unclaimed dividends and interest).
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Senior Manager, State & Local Tax
Direct: 412-315-2428
Email: [email protected]
J.D., Law, Duquesne University
School of Law
B.S., Business Administration,
Duquesne University School of
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Stephanie Boris has more than 15 years of
professional experience providing tax, legal and
financial consulting services to a variety of
clients. She provides tax and business consulting
services for clients primarily in the
manufacturing, professional services, energy,
financial services and pharmaceutical sectors.
Stephanie provides the following services to her
clients: advise companies related to various state
taxes, including income, franchise, gross receipts
and realty transfer; state tax audit and
controversy support; assist in determining
implications of restructuring, acquisitions,
divestitures and other transactions; review state
tax returns for potential filing positions, refund
opportunities and general state tax efficiencies;
and assist with compliance among the states,
including ruling requests, amnesty programs
and/or voluntary disclosures.

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