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Summary:

We all know that there are personal benefits to web working. But there are societal benefits too: less commuter pollution, less stress on families when parents can stay home with the kids, fewer people crammed into the inner cities every day. That’s why some countries, like […]

We all know that there are personal benefits to web working. But there are societal benefits too: less commuter pollution, less stress on families when parents can stay home with the kids, fewer people crammed into the inner cities every day. That’s why some countries, like Japan, have offered tax incentives to employers who institute telework programs. If a bill recently introduced into the US Congress passes, the United States could join the ranks of countries with tax-supported telecommuters.

Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Representative Lee Terry (R-NE) recently introduced the Parents’ Tax Relief Act of 2007 to Congress. Though the name might not make you look twice, there are three provisions of interest to telecommuters buried in the bill:

  • A vastly simplified flat rate home office deduction ($2500 or the profit from your home-based business, whichever is lower), replacing the current complex prorated system that requires exclusive use of part of the home.
  • A telecommuting tax credit that gives employers up to $2400 credit for each employee who starts telecommuting during the year.
  • An exclusion from employee income of employer-provided telecommuting equipment including computers and broadband access equipment, making such equipment a tax-free fringe benefit.

All in all, it looks like this bill could save some fairly substantial tax dollars for the home business owner or telecommuter. That’s the good news.

The bad news? If you cast your mind back to high school civics, you’ll recall that most bills in Congress never go anywhere, and indeed this one went promptly to committee and hasn’t come out yet. It also doesn’t have a whole lot of co-sponsors, so the prospect of it surfacing and passing is fairly low. Still, if every web worker out there were to contact their congressional representatives (you do know who yours are, don’t you?) to urge support for HR1421 (in the House) and S816 (in the Senate), it just might make a difference.

  1. [...] The post I’m referring to essentially outlines a proposed bill in the USA where employees that telecommute would be eligible for some substantial tax savings every year. I don’t know what the chances of such a bill passing will be, but it does make considerable sense and would be a perfect legislation to be introduced here in Canada as well. The proposed bill in the States includes some important provisions: [...]

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  2. [...] have offered tax incentives to employers who institute telework programs for a while now, but a bill recently introduced into the US Congress may give Americans the same [...]

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  3. [...] Web Worker Daily mentions that Senator Brownback (R-KS) and Congressman Terry (R-NE) have introduced the Parents’ Tax Relief Act of 2007. [...]

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  4. [...] Les Etats Unis encouragent fiscalement le télétravail Posted mars 29, 2007 Le blog spécialisé dans le télétravail Web Worker Daily signale une proposition de loi aux Etats-Unis en faveur du télétravail. [...]

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  5. [...] Sam Brownback (R-KS) has introduced the Parents’ Tax Relief Act of 2007 in Congress. There are a couple sensible things in there, which I could support provided the [...]

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  6. [...] Via Web Worker Daily [...]

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