Where Am I Working?
I am sitting in New Zealand writing this. It started as an idea in my head and was typed into a local file on my computer. I copied it to Wordpress (my blog hosting software of choice) and saved a draft to my People First server.
The words were then sitting on a server in Iowa, USA.
From this point on, as I edit the draft, I am in New Zealand, the words I am editing are in Iowa - where am I working?
By the time you read this post, I will have published and anybody in the world can read it.
Example, a visitor in Kenya pulls up this web site in their browser and these words are ‘automagically’ read in Kenya.
Where is ‘the work’ done?
- New Zealand, because that is where I tapped the original words into the computer?
- New Zealand, because that is where I cut and paste those words into Wordpress?
- Iowa, because that is where the People First servers are?
- Where you are reading this because until those words delivered value (you reading them), no work was done.
I ask because once you know where the work was done, you should have an idea on where you should be taxed and arguably where you should be licensed to work.
This conversation doesn’t seem to be a major part of public discourse, because the scenario is an edge case. But for how much longer?
New York has a law that says anybody working IN NEW YORK pays New York Taxes and from that emerges things like the NY, NJ and CT tri-state tax agreement.
“Like all states with broad-based income taxes, New York has asserted the right to tax nonresident income earned within its borders. But unlike most other jurisdictions with significant cross-border commuter flows—such as Illinois and Indiana or Virginia and Maryland—New York has never given nonresidents a tax pass in the form of ‘reciprocity’ with their home states.”
But if my servers are in Iowa, my customers are in Europe, my bank account is in California and I only live in New York, should I pay New York taxes?
I write more about where we work in this week’s newsletter.