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State tax reciprocity agreements in the United States

In the United States, while federal tax obligations are uniform for all workers, regardless of their state of residence, state tax regulations can significantly differ, particularly for individuals who reside in one state but are employed in another. These differences are addressed through state tax reciprocity agreements, which are designed to simplify tax filing requirements and minimize the burden on workers who might otherwise have to file multiple state tax returns. These agreements allow residents of one state to request exemption from tax withholding in another state, enabling them to file a tax return only in their state of residence. Such arrangements are especially beneficial for those living near state borders or who work remotely for companies based in a different state. This guide aims to elaborate on how these state tax reciprocity agreements function, detailing the criteria for eligibility, the process for claiming exemption, and the specific states that currently have such agreements in place. These agreements not only facilitate the tax process for cross-border workers but also ensure that they are not subject to double taxation by both their state of residence and the state where they are employed.

Here is a short summary, State tax reciprocity agreements simplify taxes for workers across states, evolving with legislative changes and remote work trends.

Understanding the U.S tax system

What is a state tax reciprocity agreement?

State tax reciprocity agreements are arrangements between certain states that allow workers to pay state income taxes only to the state where they reside, rather than the state where they are employed. For example, if someone lives in Arizona but commutes to California for work, under a reciprocity agreement between these two states, the individual would only be obligated to pay state taxes in Arizona. This means that employees benefit from not having to file nonresident tax returns in the states where they work, eliminating the need to declare their earnings as exempt in those states. The only scenario necessitating the filing of a tax return in a state where the employee does not reside is when the states involved do not have a reciprocity agreement.

To ensure that state taxes are not incorrectly withheld from their pay, employees must submit the necessary tax forms to their employers. This simplifies the tax withholding process for employers, as they only need to withhold state and local taxes for the state of the employee’s residence.

In cases where individuals work in states that do not participate in reciprocity agreements, they are not subject to double taxation due to federal laws preventing multiple states from taxing the same income. However, these workers are required to file tax returns in each state where they earn income, complying with each state’s tax laws, but ensuring they are not taxed twice on the same earnings.

How to pay international employees

Choosing the right method of handling payroll for international employees saves you time, ensures your compliance with local laws, and keeps your employees happy.

Selecting the appropriate payroll management strategy for your international workforce is critical for several reasons. It not only streamlines the administrative process, saving valuable time but also ensures adherence to diverse local and international tax laws, thereby mitigating legal risks. Additionally, a well-chosen payroll system enhances overall employee satisfaction by ensuring timely and accurate payment, regardless of geographical boundaries.

When managing payroll for international employees, companies must navigate a complex web of local labor laws, tax obligations, and currency fluctuations. It’s essential to understand the nuances of each country’s regulations where your employees are based. This might involve different tax rates, social security requirements, and other statutory deductions that vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another.

Furthermore, the method of payment is another critical consideration. Employers must choose a payment system that supports multiple currencies and offers low transaction fees to maximize efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Digital payment platforms and international banks offer solutions tailored to these needs, providing reliable and swift cross-border payment options.

To ensure compliance and operational efficiency, many businesses turn to specialized payroll service providers. These providers offer comprehensive solutions that manage the complexities of international payroll, including tax calculation, compliance checks, and payment processing. They leverage local expertise to navigate the regulatory landscape of each country, ensuring that businesses comply with local laws while optimizing their payroll operations.

Employee experience is another pivotal aspect. The chosen payroll system should offer a transparent and accessible interface for employees, where they can view their pay stubs, track their payments, and access year-end tax documents. This transparency builds trust and contributes to higher employee satisfaction.

For businesses looking to expand their understanding of paying international employees and exploring best practices in payroll management, Remote offers insightful guidance. Their expertise in global payroll solutions can help businesses efficiently manage their international workforce, ensuring legal compliance and fostering a positive work environment.

In conclusion, the decision on how to pay international employees should be informed by a thorough understanding of legal requirements, cost considerations, and the need for operational efficiency. By choosing the right payroll management system and possibly partnering with experts in the field, businesses can navigate the complexities of international payroll with confidence, ensuring their global team is well-supported and satisfied.

States with reciprocity agreements

State tax reciprocity agreements offer a strategic advantage for workers living in one state and working in another by allowing them to pay income taxes solely to their state of residence. These agreements are tailored to simplify the tax filing process for workers and ensure employers withhold taxes correctly. Below is a detailed overview of states with such agreements, including the full links to the forms required for employees to claim these benefits.


Arizona has reciprocity agreements with California, Indiana, Oregon, and Virginia. Employees must file the Withholding Exemption Certificate (Form WEC) to avail the benefits of these agreements.


Illinois residents working in Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, or Wisconsin can file Form IL-W-5-NR, Employee’s Statement of Nonresidence in Illinois, to claim exemption from state income tax in Illinois.


Indiana has a broad network of reciprocity agreements encompassing Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Residents from these states working in Indiana can submit Form WH-47, Certificate of Residence, to claim exemption from Indiana state income tax withholding.


Iowa’s singular reciprocity agreement with Illinois simplifies tax filing for residents working across this specific state line, requiring the submission of Form IA 44-016, Employee’s Statement of Nonresidence in Iowa.


Kentucky’s reciprocity agreements cover Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, with conditional agreements for Ohio and Virginia. Form 42A809 is needed to request exemption from Kentucky income tax withholding.


Maryland has agreements with D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, allowing employees to apply for exemption from Maryland state income taxes using Form MW507, Employee’s Maryland Withholding Exemption Certificate.


Michigan reciprocates with Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Employees can use Form MI-W4, Employee’s Michigan Withholding Exemption Certificate, to claim tax reciprocity benefits.


Minnesota’s reciprocity with Michigan and North Dakota allows eligible employees to file the Reciprocity Exemption Certificate (Form MWR) to qualify for tax benefits.

Additional States

Other states with reciprocity agreements include Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Each state has specific forms for claiming tax exemption benefits, emphasizing the need for employees and employers to be aware of these agreements and comply with the respective submission requirements to ensure correct tax withholding.

This overview provides a comprehensive guide to state tax reciprocity agreements, highlighting the importance of these arrangements in simplifying tax obligations for cross-border workers. Proper submission of the required forms ensures that taxes are correctly withheld, minimizing the need for complex tax filings at the end of the year.

What do companies need to know?

For businesses managing a workforce that spans multiple states, understanding the intricacies of state tax reciprocity agreements is crucial. These agreements allow employees who live in one state but work in another to only pay income taxes to their state of residence. For employers, this means implementing a payroll system that accurately withholds taxes based on these agreements to ensure compliance with state tax laws.

Key Considerations for Employers:

  1. Identify Employees Covered by Reciprocity Agreements: Employers should first identify which of their employees are eligible for tax benefits under state tax reciprocity agreements. This involves understanding where each employee resides and works and whether both states have a tax reciprocity agreement.
  2. Ensure Proper Form Submission: Employees benefiting from reciprocity agreements must submit the appropriate forms to their employer to exempt them from withholding taxes in the work state. Employers should maintain an up-to-date list of these forms for each eligible state and ensure employees provide the completed forms timely.
  3. Accurate Tax Withholding: With the correct forms in hand, employers must adjust their payroll systems to withhold state taxes accurately. This means withholding taxes for the employee’s state of residence rather than the state where the work is performed, except where reciprocity agreements do not exist.
  4. Understanding Options for Non-Reciprocal States: For states lacking reciprocity agreements, employers might still have options to alleviate the tax burden on their employees. This could include leveraging income tax credits, where an employee who pays taxes in the work state receives a credit on their tax return in their home state. Employers should provide guidance to employees on how to claim such credits.
  5. Compliance with Local Tax Laws: Beyond state income taxes, employers must also be aware of and comply with any local or municipal tax requirements that might affect their employees. This includes understanding how reciprocity agreements impact local tax obligations.
  6. International Employers: For international companies with employees working in the United States, understanding the tax implications in both the home country and the U.S. is essential. This might involve consulting with tax professionals to navigate the complex landscape of international tax law and ensure compliance.
  7. Regular Review and Update of Tax Policies: Tax laws and reciprocity agreements can change. Employers should regularly review their policies and procedures to ensure they remain compliant with current laws. This might involve periodic audits of payroll practices and staying informed about changes in tax legislation.
  8. Educating Employees: Employers play a vital role in educating their employees about the tax implications of working across state lines. Providing resources and guidance on reciprocity agreements and tax credits can help employees make informed decisions about their tax obligations.
    Feature Description Resources
    State Tax Reciprocity Agreements Enable workers to only pay state income taxes in their residence state, avoiding dual filings. Tax Foundation
    Impact of Remote Work Remote work trends underscore the importance of understanding tax reciprocity for interstate employees. U.S. Census Bureau
    States with Agreements 16 states and the District of Columbia have entered into 30 reciprocal tax agreements. Tax Foundation
    Types of Agreements Includes bilateral agreements, unilateral offers, and specific commuter exemptions. Indiana Law, Montana Law
    Tools for Professionals Checkpoint Edge® facilitates comprehensive multi-state tax research and planning. Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Edge

Resources on State Tax Reciprocity Agreements

For individuals navigating state tax laws, particularly those working across state lines, understanding tax reciprocity can significantly simplify tax preparations. Below are resources that offer detailed insights, updates, and guidance on state tax reciprocity agreements in the United States:

Tax Foundation:

Offers a comprehensive overview of how state reciprocity agreements work, including a detailed matrix of existing agreements across various states. This resource is invaluable for understanding the broader implications of tax reciprocity on interstate workers.
[Read more at Tax Foundation](


Provides a guide on state tax reciprocity agreements in the United States, including specifics on which states have agreements in place. It’s a great starting point for employees and employers alike to understand their obligations and rights under these agreements.
[Explore the guide at Remote](


Delivers an employer’s guide to understanding and leveraging state tax reciprocity agreements. This resource breaks down the concept into easily understandable segments, making it easier for employers to navigate withholding for interstate employees.
[Learn more at OnPay](

These resources collectively provide a well-rounded perspective on state tax reciprocity, catering to both individual employees and employers managing a workforce across state lines. Whether seeking to understand the basics of tax reciprocity, looking for specific state agreements, or needing guidance on how to apply these principles in payroll processing, these links offer a solid foundation.

FAQ: State Tax Reciprocity in the US

What is tax reciprocity in the US?

Tax reciprocity refers to agreements between states allowing residents who work in one state but live in another to pay state income taxes only in their home state. This arrangement simplifies tax preparation and filing, preventing double taxation on the same income. For a comprehensive overview, the Tax Foundation provides valuable insights: [Tax Foundation Article](

Does California and Oregon have a tax reciprocal agreement?

No, California and Oregon do not have a tax reciprocity agreement. Workers living in one state and working in the other are subject to state income tax laws without the simplifications offered by reciprocity agreements. For more detailed information, Remote’s guide on state tax reciprocity agreements can be useful: [Remote Guide](

What is the reciprocal agreement between Virginia and DC?

Virginia and Washington, D.C., have a tax reciprocity agreement allowing residents to pay income taxes only in their state of residence, not where they work. This agreement simplifies tax obligations for cross-border workers between these jurisdictions. The Tax Foundation provides a detailed explanation of such agreements: [Tax Foundation Article](

Does NY and PA have tax reciprocity?

No, New York and Pennsylvania do not have a tax reciprocity agreement. Workers living in one and working in the other may have to navigate more complex tax filing processes due to the absence of such an agreement. For a list of states with reciprocity agreements and more information, OnPay offers a guide: [OnPay Guide](

These resources offer a deeper dive into the specifics of state tax reciprocity agreements and the impacts on both employers and employees across different states.


State tax reciprocity agreements in the United States offer a practical solution for mitigating the complexities associated with state income taxes for individuals who live in one state and work in another. These agreements not only simplify the tax filing process for employees but also ensure that employers are compliant with state tax laws through accurate tax withholding. By allowing workers to pay income taxes only to their state of residence, reciprocity agreements eliminate the need for multiple state tax filings and reduce the risk of double taxation.

Employers play a crucial role in this system, responsible for identifying eligible employees, ensuring the correct submission of forms, and accurately withholding taxes in accordance with these agreements. As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile and remote work continues to rise, the importance of understanding and navigating state tax reciprocity agreements grows. Employers, particularly those operating across state lines or internationally, must stay informed about these agreements and their implications for payroll processes.

Ultimately, state tax reciprocity agreements underscore the importance of proactive tax planning and compliance for both employees and employers. By fostering a better understanding of these agreements and their benefits, businesses can support their employees in achieving tax efficiency while ensuring their own compliance with complex state tax laws. This guide aims to serve as a valuable resource for navigating the intricacies of state tax reciprocity, providing both employers and employees with the knowledge needed to make informed tax decisions in a multi-state employment context.

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