Deutsche Bank unveiled a new report Tuesday that said people who choose to work from home should be taxed 5% of their salary, with the revenue generated going to help people who cannot work from home.
The report states a 5% ‘privilege’ tax could benefit workers who don’t have the opportunity to stay home.
“Working from home will be part of the ‘new normal’ well after the pandemic has passed,” Jim Reid, research strategist at Deutsche Bank said in the report. “We argue that remote workers should pay a tax for the privilege. Our calculations suggest the amounts raised could fund material income subsidies for low-income earners who are unable to work remotely and thus assume more ‘old economy’ and health risks.”
“Remote workers are contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits,” the report notes.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 11, 2020
Deutsche Bank argues that the work from home option allows employees to save on expenses like travel, lunch, clothes and cleaning, according to Business Insider. (RELATED: STUDY: People Are Drinking Way More Alcohol During Work Hours While Isolating From Coronavirus)
The 5% tax would only apply if the government isn’t advising people to work from home. If a worker chooses to work from home outside a government mandate, the employee will “pay the tax out of their salary for each day they work from home.”
Deutsche Bank estimates that the average U.S. worker who chooses to work from home makes $55,000 a year and would pay roughly $10 per day in tax. They argue the $10 is a rough equivalent of what an office worker might spend on commuting, lunch and laundry. However, if the employer doesn’t provide their staff with a permanent desk, then the employer should be responsible for the tax, the report said.
Deutsche estimates the tax could raise $49 billion each year to help those in industries that do not permit them to work remote.
During the pandemic, work from home increased as states began restricting social gatherings and limiting the number of employees allowed in one building at the same time.