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HR Insights: Moving States as a Remote Employee

Moving States as a Remote Employee

HR Insights: Expert answers to common HR Questions

Scenario:

I moved states without telling my employer. Could I face consequences for not telling my employer?



 

This question comes from the HR Stew podcast.

Listen to the full segment here:

- I’m a fully remote employee, and up until recently I lived in Florida. I recently bought property in Georgia and moved in, but I haven’t informed my employer about it. I’m also concerned about taxes, as Florida has no income tax, but Georgia does. Could I face consequences for moving states as a remote employee and not telling my employer ?





 

Answer:

While the employer has the right to choose how they deal with the situation, it is likely the employer will take some amount of action due to the failure to disclose this information.
In addition, the employee may face legal or compliance issues for failing to update their tax information...
 

Detailed Answer:

Answer: The answer that the hosts of the HR Stew Podcast, (Regina Dyerly, SHRBP, PHR, COO @ Vida HR, & Holly Nehls, SHRM-CP, Director, Client Services @ Vida HR) was a resounding “YES! You can get in trouble for moving states without informing your employer!”


We have to agree with Regina and Holly, the answer isn’t ‘maybe’, it’s a ‘almost definitely’. Let’s start with the most pressing matter: tax implications. To be clear, Vida HR are not tax experts and so we can’t give any tax advice. On the compliance side, employees need to have any relevant taxes deducted from their paycheck. If you haven’t informed your employer of your move, it’s likely your income tax isn’t being deducted; which could potentially expand into legal issues. Furthermore, you are required to fill out a new W-2 whenever your tax information changes, which puts you out of compliance with that requirement.


Moreover, some states require the employer to set up tax accounts, unemployment, etc. By not telling them, you have put them at a risk of being out of compliance, which could cause your employer to incur fees. While it is up to the company how to approach disciplinary action, it seems likely that they would decide to take some amount of action, possibly termination.


Vida HR recommends checking your company’s handbook, if they have one. Refusing to give this sort of information may constitute a violation, which would most likely result in disciplinary action. It’s important to note that even if you didn’t explicitly violate a handbook policy, both Florida and Georgia are at-will states. An employer can terminate for cause at any time, at their discretion.


Employers, to prevent this sort of issue, we recommend adding language to your handbooks to make it clear what is expected of employees. Consider adding a standards of conduct section with prohibited behaviors, as well as a personal data changes section, that would ask employees to inform the employer of any changes to their W-2 tax status.



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