Taxation of Remote Workers – Is the Allocation of Taxation Rights in Line with the Benefit Principle?

This article deals with the taxation of the increasingly growing workforce able to perform their work remotely. The phenomenon of remote work has experienced rapid growth, particularly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic when employees were recommended or obliged to work from home due to government lockdowns and restrictions. With the increasing prevalence of remote work, employers are able to recruit personnel globally, transcending the limitations of local recruitment markets. Consequently, the jurisdiction for taxing employee income may change compared to work performed physically on site. In the article, the author analyses how the various articles of the OECD Model addressing employment income allocate the right to tax the income of an employee in situations of remote work. Additionally, the author raises the question whether the outcomes derived from the allocation rules in remote work scenarios align with the benefit principle. The benefit principle states that a taxpayer should pay taxes in line with the benefits received from public services in a state, and the author uses it to measure whether the states involved in the income-generating activity are sufficiently able to tax that income.