Help me sort through the tax issues of being an out-of-state employee.
October 4, 2010 9:38 AM Subscribe
New job is 99% awesome. The 1% of not-awesome is that I've been told (essentially) to figure out my own state tax deductions. Help.
posted by shiu mai baby to Work & Money (10 answers total)
The company is based in Illinois, and they are not huge but not small, with revenue in the $30 million/year range. I am in Pennsylvania, and I am a full-time, non-contract, at-will employee. All work I'm doing is in Pennsylvania. No one in HR seems to know a) how to handle this, or b) what they should be pulling out of my paycheck for PA state taxes.
There are other full-time off-site employees, but there's a lack of consensus in the company about how to handle such folks. I've been told -- by HR, no less -- that my options are to either:
- Hire an accountant to figure this out for me, or
- Determine on my own how much PA taxes are, and then set aside any difference (if any) between that and IL, which taxes at 3%. The company will deduct the 3% (no idea where they'll be sending it, though!), and I need to make up any deficit there.
I'm really kind of irritated at this situation, because it seems like it's something that HR should be taking care of, not me. My job is my job; their job is to handle junk like income taxes and filing and knowing rates and whatever. Yes, I'm a bit of an unusual circumstance, seeing as I'm not in the office, nor am I an Illinois resident, but it really feels like this is something that someone who has a little more experience (like HR) with this should handle instead of leaving me to flail about on the internet and www.revenue.state.pa.us.
Anyway, my questions are as follows:
1. Is my irritation irrational? If yes, then:
1a. What should be my next step?
1b. Should I hire an accountant? I have no idea how much such a consult would cost, so even a ballpark estimate of what I should expect to pay would be much appreciated. And if I have to hire an accountant, is this an expense I could submit to the company for reimbursement?
1c. If I set up a separate account to sock away money for state taxes, do I need to submit them on a more regular basis than annually?
If my irritation is not irrational:
2. How should I handle this? Should I push back on HR and tell them to figure it out?
3. How can I be sure that they're not going to screw something up and then I get a nasty surprise when I file 2010 taxes?
4. I've thought about looking at paycheck stubs from my last job, which was PA-based and where I worked onsite to at least get a general idea of how much should be withheld. I did get a pretty tasty bump up in pay when I took the new job, though, so I'm not sure how that affects the percentage.
Any help and recommendations would be much appreciated. I'm a words person, not a math person, and I'm feeling both petulant and terrified that I might have to deal with my taxes in a non-traditional fashion.