On Friday, September 6th, Americans for Tax Reform sent a letter to Congressmen in support of the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act, HR 2315. ATR urges Congress to vote in favor of this bill to establish clear boundaries and presence standards based on a state’s physical border. As the digital world makes us increasingly more mobile, this bill will prevent states from taxing out-of-state residents.

The full letter can be found below, and here.

Dear Congressmen:

On behalf of American taxpayers, I write in support of the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act, H.R 2315, which establishes a clear and consistent physical presence standard for employee income tax reporting.

This legislation, introduced by Congressmen Mike Bishop and Hank Johnson, passed the House Judiciary Committee with a reported vote of 23 yeas and 4 nays.

It is important to establish a physical presence standard for the American workforce particularly as technology allows us to be even more mobile.  Establishing clear borders based on a state’s physical border will be even more important as technologies take us beyond telework and towards the possibilities of telemedicine and advanced education.

When an employee travels from one state to the next, there are varying rules throughout the 50 states as to when an employee’s income tax needs to be reported by an employer and paid by the employee.  

For example, Colorado will tax any income earned within the state if an individual has worked there at least one day.  Hawaii and Arizona require withholding for work that exceeds 60 days. Other states do not use a time requirement at all, but tax based on a specific dollar figure earned while in the state.

Most individuals are not aware of the varying non-resident state income tax filing rules, and employers incur extraordinary expenses to comply with withholding requirements.  

This is especially difficult for those able to offer support in the event of a natural disaster. People with specialized skills – doctors, nurses, electricians, arborists, decontamination crews, etc. – are in high demand following these events.  These skills are not bound by location; they can mobilize to accelerate healing and repairs for a community after a disaster.

H.R. 2315 establishes a clear physical presence standard for cross-border work by keeping states from taxing most nonresident employees until the employee is present and working in the state for more than 30 days during the year.  This minimizes bureaucratic hurdles, allows employees to keep more of their own paycheck, and simplifies tax compliance.

I encourage Congress to support American workers with clear consistent tax collection boundaries based on a state’s physical borders. 

If you should have any questions regarding this issue please contact me, or Katie McAuliffe at [email protected] or 202-785-0266.


Grover G. Norquist