August 12, 2020
St. Louis, Missouri provides earnings tax guidance for teleworkers and their employers during the COVID-19 emergency
The St. Louis Collector of Revenue stated in recent guidance that employees who are working remotely in connection with the COVID-19 emergency should be treated as working in their original place of work for purposes of the city's earnings tax. Accordingly, St. Louis employers should continue to withhold the earnings tax for these employees in the same manner as they did prior to the temporary relocation of their employees.
The Collector justifies its guidance by explaining that the St. Louis Health Commissioner's order only required that all non-exempt St. Louis employers facilitate employees working remotely. There was no requirement that St. Louis employees work outside of the city nor was any individual required to work within their home inside of the city.
The guidance also stipulates that days worked outside of the city due to a temporary reassignment caused by COVID-19 or the acting Health Commissioner's order may not be included in the non-residency deduction formula on Form E-1R when claiming a refund for tax year 2020.
Note that the Collector explains, under normal circumstances there is no requirement to withhold the St. Louis earnings tax from earnings of the city's residents if there is no business activity taking place within the city.
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