Business

Campaign group formed to tackle tax issues for cross border workers

Launching the Cross-Border Workers Coalition are (from left) Paul Quinn, Sinead Logue and Conor Dowds

THE creation in the north west of a campaign group to tackle remote working tax rules for cross border workers has been herealded as "a welcome and timely development".

The Cross-Border Workers Coalition (CBWC) has been set up in response to the fact that employees from across the Republic wo work in Northern Ireland are largely prohibited from remote working and are subject to a ‘double tax’ on their income should it be determined that they have worked from home or in the Republic.

And it has called on politicians to urgently review the situation and take advantage of the opportunity that has arisen from the coronavirus crisis when all companies across the island instructed their staff to work from home as the pandemic took hold.

The new body says the financial contribution of this tax to the Irish Revenue is minimal and a blunt measure impacting on the health and wellbeing of workers, particularly at this difficult time.

While a northern employee can work in the Republic for a number of days without triggering a tax liability, an RoI-resident employee that works substantially outside of that jurisdiction would lose the ability to claim Cross Border Worker Relief for carrying out certain duties.

With the lockdown enforcement beginning to ease, it is thought many cross border workers will remain working at home,and the CBWC says it’s time the make the right changes to future proof against other outbreaks and create a better work life balance for employees who are forced, in some cases, to commute up to 500kms each week, mostly by car.

Londonderry Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Clancy said: “Given our close proximity to the border, many of our members either are cross-border workers themselves, or they employ them.

“The ‘double tax’ burden for those who work remotely, which this campaign aims to change, makes it more difficult for many businesses to attract and retain skilled workers who live on their doorstep and puts undue financial and personal pressures on the lives of hundreds of cross-border workers.

“The need for policy and legislative change in this area has become all the more acute and urgent. People who live in Donegal but who work for a company in Northern Ireland should not be punished for working remotely.”

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