'Couve commuters may see silver lining

An alert reader had some tax questions, and he definitely has us both thinking.

Oregon has a wicked personal income tax. It applies to the worldwide taxable income of those of us who live here. And nonresidents get hit, too, to the extent that they have Oregon-source income. Income from wages is generally treated as Oregon-source to the extent that the employee actually did the work here in Oregon.

And so all those folks who commute into Portland from Clark County, Washington for employment have to pay Oregon income tax on what they make here. They don't have an income tax up in Washington, and so Oregon gets all the income tax.

But what if the employee hasn't been coming into town since the pandemic started? Their employer is still based here, but the employee has been working from home on the Washington side of the Columbia River. Am I missing something, or are those wages no longer Oregon-source income?

If they aren't, does the employer know enough not to withhold Oregon income tax? Does the employee know enough not to report the work-from-home wages on their Oregon income tax return? Maybe there are some refunds coming.


  1. This article from last October seems to agree with that:

    The article cites this Oregon rule:


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