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Deutsche Bank proposes taxing people for working from home

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Lily Canter
·2-min read
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Working from home
A Deutsche Bank report suggests a tax of 5% could be applied to an employee's salary if they choose to work from home. Photo credit: Getty.

Working from home should be taxed according to a new report by economists at Deutsche Bank.

The German multinational investment lender has proposed using the funds to help support workers whose jobs are under threat.

Their report suggests a tax of 5% could be applied to an employee's salary if they choose to work from home.

The tax would be paid by employers and used to generate income to support people who cannot work from home.

Deutsche Bank calculates the tax would generate a pot of £6.9bn ($9.2bn) a year in the UK which could be converted into £2,000 ($2,658) a year grants for low-income workers and those under threat of redundancy.

If implemented in the US the scheme could earn $48bn (£36bn).

The bank argues that those working from home are saving money and the tax creates a fairer system.

"For years we have needed a tax on remote workers," wrote Deutsche Bank strategist Luke Templeman in the report. "Covid has just made it obvious."

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Deutsche Bank Research predicts US workers now spend 4.6 billion days a year at home rather than in the office.

"Those who can WFH receive direct and indirect financial benefits and they should be taxed in order to smooth the transition process for those who have been suddenly displaced," said the report.

Millions of people have shifted to working from home as Boris Johnson told the country to stay at home in the first, and now second, lockdown.

This has meant workers have been able to save money on public transport and eating out.

Big employers like Facebook and Twitter have said they will allow some staff to permanently work from home after the pandemic.

But Deutsche Bank argues people who cannot work from home like nurses and factory workers should receive support via this tax.

"The virus has benefitted those who can do their jobs virtually, such as bank analysts, and threatened the livelihoods or health of those who can't," added Mr Templeman.

The tax would be paid directly by employers who choose to let employees work from home but would not apply to the self-employed or people on low incomes.

And it would not apply if workers are asked to stay home for public health reasons, such as a national lockdown.

Watch: Why can’t the government just print more money?