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Tax Breaks Aim To Encourage Telework Programs

Wondering how remote access technology can benefit your company's bottom line? Don't forget to factor the potential tax benefits into your calculations.
Wondering how remote access technology can benefit your company's bottom line? Don't forget to factor the potential tax benefits into your calculations.The idea of encouraging telework programs through tax breaks is still relatively new. In 2007, the state of Georgia was the first in the nation to offer tax credits to companies that start or expand telework initiatives. Currently, a Georgia company can get up to a $20,000 tax credit for "planning, training, and/or raw labor costs associated with starting or expanding a telework program."

Now, other states are following suit. Oregon, for example, offers companies a Business Energy Tax Credit for a number of environmentally friendly initiatives, including telework programs.

The federal government is also getting into the act. Earlier this month, Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA) introduced the Telework Tax Incentive Act, which gives individuals who "perform services for an employer under a teleworking arrangement" up to a $1,000 per year tax credit.

Obviously, such a bill won't benefit an employer directly, but it will give employees a financial incentive to upgrade their home offices in order to work more effectively.

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Most of these incentive plans are designed to address environmental issues, including traffic congestion and air pollution. Yet as the threat of a flu outbreak, the recent East Coast snowstorm, and the San Francisco Bay Bridge closure earlier this year all demonstrate, telework programs are also a vital part of any company's business continuity plans.

If your state government doesn't yet have a telework tax credit proposal in place, talk to your representative about introducing one.