Work Location and Wage Taxes

There are important tax and payroll implications connected to where you work and why you work there. Here is an overview of factors that determine a Penn employee's work location of record.

Convenience Doctrine Framework

Convenience of Employer: The University (department, school, or center) requires an individual to work remotely because:

  • There is no space or there are space limitations preventing the employee from working on campus, or 
  • There is bona fide business purpose for the employee to be working in a secondary location (temporarily or permanently).

Convenience of Employee: The University (department, school, or center) is allowing an individual to work remotely essentially because the individual has made the request to do so.

Convenience Doctrine and the Philadelphia Wage Tax

The City of Philadelphia follows the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s "Convenience of Employer" doctrine for days worked outside of the City to determine if compensation is subject to its Wage Tax.

Frequently Asked Questions for Remote Work

1. Why is my work address in Workday my on-campus address although my school/center approved my request to work remotely? 

If you work remotely four to five days per week, for tax withholding purposes, your official work address of record is based on the "Convenience of Employer" doctrine. When the University (department, school, or center) allows an employee to work from remotely because the employee has requested to do so for personal reasons, the employee’s work address for tax withholding purposes is still the campus address (i.e., they are “sourced to campus”).  

2. When would a staff member’s work address be an off-campus address? 

Based on the "Convenience of Employer" doctrine, an employee’s work address of record may be their home address if the employee:

  • Works remotely four or five days each week, and;
  • There is no space or space limitations prevent the employee from working on campus; or there is a “bona fide” business purpose for the employee to be working in a secondary location (temporarily or permanently) 

In these instances, the employee’s work address is their off-campus address (i.e., they are “sourced to their off-campus address”).

3. What is the "Convenience of Employer" Doctrine?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is one of several states that has adopted the “Convenience of Employer” tax doctrine. This doctrine considers days worked outside Pennsylvania to be counted and taxed as days worked in Pennsylvania if the non-resident employee is working outside of Pennsylvania for their own convenience.