Managers have a lot on their plates in this (mostly) post-pandemic world. Whether it’s coordinating hybrid work schedules, negotiating new lease space, or determining what vaccine policies and recommendations are now valid, there’s now a new wrinkle regarding your employees: determining where exactly they are… arguably perhaps, only for employment tax purposes 😉.
In a trend befitting these 21st century times, the customer service rep you hired a couple weeks before the pandemic may not really be in, for example, New Jersey anymore. They could be “drinking lots of carrot juice and soaking up rays” as the Jimmy Buffett song goes. It turns out that many employees liked ‘WFHing’ so much that they actually left their home states and/or countries to go to more exotic locales (e.g., Thailand, Europe) where all you need to fool your employers is high-speed internet and a blank wall to be in front of for videoconferences.
Many of these wayward employees will go to great lengths to continue being that ‘cheeseburger in paradise’ (better sang by Jimmy Buffett). Some will email photos of return-home plane tickets that will never be used while others may check the weather at their ‘home’ before a meeting so that they can carry on the “weather small talk” that seems to open up many meetings. You can read here for a more in-depth expose of the practice.
The issue here, in addition to the general deception of it all, is that there are expensive tax and compliance issues – or nice tax savings — to sort out when employees are earning salaries abroad or outside of the home office city or state. It’s obviously not too difficult for local authorities to zero in on that expat beach bar in Ibiza to find wayward employees to help investigate possible unpaid local income tax. For their employers back in New Jersey, they have to be a bit more clever and, unfortunately, saying that you were deceived by your cheeseburger-in-paradise employee will likely not hold up in court.
In Los Angeles City, for example, tax burdens to the city are based on how many people work in the city office (since most live outside of the city limits but within Los Angeles County (confusing)). In New York City, it is similar. Work location of staff recorded can potentially add tax savings for a company – or cause tax shifting to other locales where employees are actually working. (Thankfully here at Tech Essentials, we’re not a tax advisory blog, so we’ll leave you only with the thoughts 😊).
A 21st century tech problem then deserves a 21st century solution, and here’s where RMail fits in. Previously, in Tech Essentials, we’ve discussed PRE-Crime, a concept from Philip K. Dick’s 1956 sci-fi short story, “The Minority Report.” An important feature of our new PRE-Crime™ suite is Email Eavesdropping™ alerts that are designed to alert the sender and IT security if a copy of an email to a recipient client or supplier is being eavesdropped on by a cybercriminal.
Another tangential function is its location Active Tracker™ – the useful insights the service provides for all the email that is not being read by cybercriminals. This Active Tracker service can be configured with a few clicks to track where email is being read – city, state, country — by each reader or future forwarded reader of the prose you send.
HR (or the boss) for example, could send email to their staff using RMail’s location Active Tracker technology on. The sender then can track when and, more importantly, where work emails are being opened and get alerts if the employee is working outside the state/country they should be in.
In other industries like for legal notices, this can provide an abundance of data on the life cycle of email you send, how often it is being viewed, and in what unique locations.
To be clear, we’re not advocating spying on employees who want to WFH—only those who are, shall we say, WFP (working from paradise), which can cause significant tax and legal liability for your company.
Please contact us to see how RMail is giving employers important tools to limit tax exposure or gain tax efficiencies caused by wayward employees as well as extending the email sender’s ability to stop e-crimes in progress at the recipient.
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