I am a remote worker. My employer is based in Atlanta. I asked to change my address to St. Thomas. The HR department is telling me that they would have to pay 15,000 dollars to get legal status in St. Thomas in order for me to work there. This doesn't sound right to me. I thought it was just like any other state. I would be getting paid from Atlanta for remote work. I would just be living in St. Thomas. Does anyone have experience with this?
Are you a licensed professional - particularly a medical professional? This is gray area on whether or not you need to be licensed in the VI if that's where you sit to treat/advise patients.
In the VI, if you are a bona fide resident, you file your income taxes with the IRB instead the IRS.
If your employer understands USVI is part of the US, they may think they will need to establish a relationship with the VI IRB for your income tax withholdings. That's incorrect - getting tax money to IRB is your responsibility if your circumstances dictate you do that - but it's not always easy to become a bona fide resident of the VI territory.
The VI tax code generally defines a “bona fide resident” as a person who:
is present for at least 183 days during the tax year in the Virgin Islands;
does not have a tax home outside the Virgin Islands during the tax year and
does not have a closer connection to the U.S. or a foreign country than to the possession.
My advice is to ask your employer about their main concern and address it. Then talk to an accountant or attorney to help you address their concern if you can't make headway on your own.
My employer doesn't care where I live but I work for a HUGE business.
Your employer may have some control issues - and may in the end not be comfortable with you sitting at a desk in the VI. Did you tell them in advance of moving or did you assume it would be okay? Drill down, find out their objections and see if you can work it out. Make sure they know any commute by you to the mothership will be on your own dime. And that you'll be responsible for internet, telephone and office setup, too.
An HRA is not insurance. You might want to check on using it to purchase a high deductible medical/evac plan being sold by Elan in the VI right now. Any illness that requires more than a band aid may require you to be jetted off island if you want to get treatment.
There are no individual health insurance plans available in the VI.
Your tax home is where your principle place of business is located, regardless of where you reside.
This gets a bit murky for home workers who are employees.
You may find this useful.
Since the USVI has no state tax due to our IRB it mat be very beneficial to file here if you are here more than 183 days in the tax year.
Nailing down the 183 days is a difficult thing to prove.
For better or for worse.
How is the internet/cellular service on St. Thomas/St. John in 2019?
I've read plenty of articles from early 2018 that made it seem like it was useless. Has it gotten any better?
Which providers are reliable? ATT, Sprint, Verizon, TMobile?
I heard that Verizon recently categorized the USVI as in-network.
Do any of you work in the USVI and use video conferencing daily?
AT&T cellular is the best. I have never used Verizon.
i am a 22 year old jamaican ,soon to be gradurant , in a bachelors in dental hygiene and would like to relocate to st Croix and would like to know the procedure in finding a job .
I’m currently contemplating going off grid. (Solar with batteries)
Yes, WAPA’s rates are high, and continue to rise, but a steady, dependable flow of electricity is probably my biggest concern. If your going to run any kind of business which requires telecommunications, finding a residence with a dependable, independent power grid should be a priority for you.
From further research, interstate taxation is a complicated issue for many companies. My guess is that the cost for a company to set up a tax withholding relationship and maintain it with any given state could cost $15K though that does seem high. A traveling employee could theoretically owe state income taxes in every jurisdiction to which he/she travels.
What's different about the VI is it's a territory and not a state. The IRS Bona Fide residency policy, in most cases, would remove the employer's responsibility to set up any type of formal relationship with the VI BIR. Your tax home would be where your employer is located by definition of tax home and your responsibility is to pay taxes to the IRS but would have no state tax to pay.
The complication would be an accountant wanting to withhold taxes on behalf of the VI like he/she would for a state which would be impossible and not required. Easier to say no than to figure it out.
In the info mentioned by Gators mom:
f you are a bona fide resident of the USVI and have non-USVI source income, you also must file Virgin Islands Form 1040INFO, Non-Virgin Islands Source Income of Virgin Islands Residents, with the Virgin Islands. Attach Form 1040INFO to your USVI tax return before filing. You can get Form 1040INFO by contacting the address or website given earlier.
If you are a bona fide resident of the USVI for the entire tax year, file your return and all attachments with the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue at:Bureau of Internal Revenue
6115 Estate Smith Bay
St. Thomas, VI 00802 ****If you reside in the USVI for over 183 days - you are a bona fide resident.
Any update on the original topic? Did your company approve it?
I am going through the exact same situation now with a Fortune 500 company - I got approval from my leadership to work remotely in USVI temporarily (10 months - coming back stateside 1x per month), but blocked by HR with the reason that the company would need to register in USVI if that is where I am working from (and they are unwilling to do that). I will not be a bona-fide resident in USVI (will def. be more stateside than USVI), but does that make a difference for the company needing to register?
Read through IRS Publication 570 to get an idea of how earned income is treated, what is taxable to VI and therefore what employer withholding is done for the VI.