Moving While Working Remotely
The Great Resignation provides many employees the opportunity to achieve higher titles and pay, and gives some of the power back to the everyday worker. We often hear about people leaving jobs in high numbers, but many are still happy with their current position and are just looking to relocate closer to family or for a lower cost of living. Moving can be complicated at the best of times, and if you’re looking to change locations but not leave your current job, there are a few things to consider before making a decision.”
Listen to this week’s episode of the rich & REGULAR podcast and keep reading for some practical points to factor into your moving plans.
Work from anywhere
With the increase in remote work over the past couple of years, it can seem like a great idea to move closer to family or start living that nomadic lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. After all, if you don’t need to go into an office every day, why stay in the same old place when you could be out exploring the world.
Although the pandemic has opened up new opportunities for some people, employment laws and rules can be complicated and haven’t changed to accommodate the rise in remote working. When an employee moves to a new state, especially where the company doesn’t have an established presence, it can mean a lot of headaches for the HR and Accounting departments, and potentially cause problems for you.
Do I have to stay near the office?
Working from home has disrupted offices and workplaces, and now it might feel silly to be stuck in one location, especially since many people have spent the last two years proving that they’re just as productive, if not more so, away from a traditional office structure.
Remember that even if your job is remote and looks to stay that way for the time being, your company can require that you remain within commuting distance of the office. While it might be a nuclear option for many employers, most companies would be within their rights to terminate your employment if you move outside of commuting distance, especially without telling them.
Of course, if you are a contract worker, you may have negotiated a remote work agreement or have different requirements.
Moving out of state
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, “the law of the state where the employee performs the work typically governs the employment relationship—even if the employer is located somewhere else.” If you relocate to a new state, your employer may be violating your new state’s employment laws, even if they aren’t aware of it.
Make sure you speak with your manager and your human resources department about your plan to move outside of commuting distance from your current office. While there is no guarantee that your employer will work with you on this move, at least you’ll know where you stand and can make a decision with all of the facts.
Don’t forget about taxes
Moving to a new state can often mean a lot of expenses. From finding a moving company, renting or buying a new home and establishing utilities, there seems to be no end to the costs that quickly add up. Many people forget to consider how moving from state to state will affect your taxes.
Most states collect income tax, but if you’re moving from one of the following states, you may be in for a nasty surprise come tax time. Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming do not collect any income tax from residents, and New Hampshire doesn’t tax earned wages. Of course, if you’re moving to one of these states, you might feel set up for success, but often these states make up for the lack in tax revenue with other types of taxes or reduced services.
Additionally, some states have a reciprocity agreement with another state, which allows workers to live in one state, work in another, and pay taxes to the state in which they live. For example, you may live in Pennsylvania but commute into New Jersey every workday, but you only have to pay taxes to Pennsylvania because of the reciprocity agreement.
Before moving, make sure you do your research. Taxes can get complicated quickly, especially when dealing with multiple states, so make sure to work with a tax professional and your payroll department to ensure you’ve covered all of the details.
Keep communication open
The easiest way to avoid these headaches for yourself and your employer is to keep the lines of communication open and honest. While your employer isn’t your friend, they also (hopefully) aren’t your adversary, so try to balance being strategic with being forthright. Being upfront with your plans can prevent a lot of trouble for both you and your employer.
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