Should people who work from home face an additional tax?
The idea is not close to becoming reality, but economists from Deutsche Bank made the argument in a report that is causing quite a stir online.
The base argument here is that people who work from home aren't using gas, buying coffee, doing things to help the economy that those who go into work tend to do.
Deutsche Bank researcher Luke Templeman is suggesting a $10 a day work from home tax in the U.S.
The money would help struggling workers who cannot work remotely.
Templeman and Jim Reid outline their plan in a November report called "What We Must Do to Rebuild," saying the proposed tax would be for people who want to continue to work from home post-covid.
"If we assume the average salary of a person who chooses to work from home in the U.S. is $55,000, a tax of five percent works out to just over $10 per working day," Templeman said. "That is roughly the amount an office worker might spend on commuting, lunch, and laundry, etc."
He calculates the WFH tax would raise about $48 billion per year. The money would go into a fund to help those who are struggling by providing $1,500 grant to workers who cannot work from home and earn under $30,000 a year.
"For years we have needed a tax on remote workers - covid has just made it obvious," added Templeman in the report.
The report cites census data that shows the number of Americans working from home jumped from about 5.4 percent prior to the pandemic to 56 percent in 2020.