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Greg Steube Introduces Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act

October 22, 2019 - 2:15pm
Greg Steube and John Thune
Greg Steube and John Thune

A freshman congressman from Florida is championing a proposal to streamline state income tax collection for Americans who take out of state temporary work assignments. 

U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., announced on Tuesday that he had introduced the “Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act” which U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-SD, and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced in the U.S. Senate back in February. 

“Taxes are complicated, and I think Congress should do everything in its power to simplify and standardize the tax code,” said Steube. “If this bill becomes law, Americans who work 30 days or less in a state outside of their home state will not be required to file a state income tax return for the state they are visiting.”

The congressman’s office offered some of the details of the proposal. 

“Under current law, nonresident employees who visit a state to do work for as little as 24 hours can be subject to certain state income tax laws. This makes tax filing extremely difficult and overly burdensome for mobile workers,” Steube’s office noted. “This bill provides a uniform, fair, and easily administered law and helps to ensure that the correct amount of tax is withheld and paid to the states without the undue burden that the current system places on employees and employers. This bill creates a uniform 30-day threshold before liability attaches and withholding is required. Employees’ earnings will still be subject to full tax in his or her state of residence.”

The bill passed the House back in 2017 but had had problems in the Senate. 

“The name of our bill says it all,” said Thune when he brought the bill out. “If enacted, it would simplify state income tax filings by creating a common-sense, across-the-board standard for mobile employees who spend a short period of time during the year working across state lines. Imagine how complicated and unfair it is for an individual who lives in a state like South Dakota, with no state income tax, to have to file income taxes in multiple states for simply temporarily working in those states – in some cases, for as little as 24 hours – and not be able to recover any income tax payments he or she has to make. The current framework is overly burdensome, and this legislation would provide much-needed relief.”

“We should be making it easier, not harder, for workers to support themselves and their families,” said Brown. “We live in a highly mobile society. People travel across state lines for work. We should be cutting red tape and simplifying the state income tax filing process to help these workers get ahead.” 

The bill is before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on which Thune and Brown sit. So far, they have rounded up more than 30 cosponsors in the Senate. 

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