Sunday, April 26, 2020

IOT: Business and Employment During Lockdown



The world is under a health crisis all thanks to the Corona or COVID 19 virus that’s affecting people all over the globe. Schools, non-essential businesses, and all public gatherings are suspended until further notice to prevent the virus from spreading. Most states in the US are under lockdown meaning the general public are forced to stay at home and employees are encouraged to work from home if possible. According to the Fortune, thereare 4.4 million Americans who filed unemployment claims in the week endingApril 18 because working from home is not possible in their line of work (e.g. restaurants, hotels, massage, parlors, etc.).

I really thought businesses will stay closed and only hospital, banks, and government offices will remain open during quarantine. But now that we’re currently in day 30+ of being home quarantined here in Manila, I’ve noticed some businesses popping up and starting to soft open and they're mainly food and beverage. For starters, I noticed neighbors selling home-cooked meals or snacks and then eventually milk tea shops and coffee shops started to open but for take-outs or deliveries only. Then pizza places and burger stores starting to open, but still only for take-outs and deliveries which is much  better than not having any food options at all.

So if you plan on selling items such as fruits, vegetables, homemade cakes or desserts, ground coffee, household items, or even homemade cotton face masks, you can go ahead and sell them online especially in your neighborhood so your neighbors won’t need to go far to buy their essentials. You can also offer free delivery if the buyer/s are only residing in your neighborhood to promote sales. It definitely worked in ours. I also don’t believe you have to pay any sales tax unless you’re planning on making it a legitimate, long-term business.

If you’re a remote worker or someone who’s working at home for your employer then you’re very lucky to still be employed even during this COVID19 crisis. But there are some questions lingering online about working remotely such as paying taxes and the like. Like for example, the company is based on California, but their remote worker who is a sales person is based in Texas. So the question is do the company continue to pay sales tax nexus in the state of Texas? Nexus determines whether or not a business has to collect andremit tax in another state or tax jurisdiction: if you have nexus, you have tocollect; if you don’t, you don’t. So as long as the employee is working in Texas, the nexus continues.

But what about those remote workers who aren’t sales people, do they pay taxes? In the midst of this crisis, I believe the arrangement of their employer with their government in regards to taxes will remain the same regardless of their employee’s location, just like here in the Philippines. It’s only the physical location of the employees that changed.

The world is under a crisis and it’s definitely okay to be a bit afraid and cautious, but I do believe like any other pandemics, it will pass and let’s make sure to stay healthy and strong to live through it and see that day come. Let’s continue to stay strong physically and even mentally. You are not alone. We are all in this together. We heal as one. 



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