Deutsche Bank proposes 5% ‘privilege’ tax on employees who choose to work from home


The research arm of a major bank is calling for a 5% tax on employees who choose to work from home.

Research strategists at Deutsche Bank said employees who choose to work from home should “pay a tax for the privilege” in a report on the remote-working industry since the coronavirus outbreak.

“Working from home will be part of the ‘new normal' well after the pandemic has passed. We argue that remote workers should pay a tax for the privilege,” research strategist Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank wrote in the report.

The report found that employees making $55,000 a year would be taxed an average of $10 per day under the plan. Strategists at the bank said the tax would raise close to $50 billion a year, which could be used to offset income gaps for workers making under $30,000 a year.

“The $48 billion raised could pay for a $1,500 grant to the 29 million workers who cannot work from home and earn under $30,000 a year,” Luke Templeman, a Deutsche Bank strategist, said. “For the first time in history, a big chunk of people have disconnected themselves from the face-to-face world yet are still leading a full economic life.”

The proposal was only for countries where the government has not instructed people to work from home and added that self-employed and low-paid staff would not have to pay the tax.

A number of top businesses have shifted much of their staff online amid the coronavirus and technological onramps that make communicating from far distances possible.

In a July email sent by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the company informed employees they would not be expected to return to the office until well into 2021.

“I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months,” Pichai wrote.

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