State Income Taxation of Nonresident Railroad Employees

GGD-85-46: Published: Apr 11, 1985. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO determined whether sufficient data were available to analyze proposed legislation prohibiting states from taxing the wages of nonresident railroad employees if the employees earned less than half of their compensation within the state.

GAO found that the data needed to analyze the effects of the restriction were not generally available. Only one of the railroads GAO surveyed had a payroll system that allowed collection of all relevant data. According to railroad officials, most states rely on voluntary self-assessment by nonresident railroad employees for whatever tax they collect on those employees' earnings.

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