Scandal-plagued German-based bank Deutsche Bank, the go-to financial institution for Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein, reported that people who are working from home must be taxed.
Deutsche Bank, which paid out over $18 million in fines for alleged violations of securities rules and regulations, commissioned a report that proposes individuals who work from home should be assessed a 5% income tax for this “privilege.” The money from the tax will be redistributed to workers who are not working from home.
As part of its “Rebuild” report, the German bank rationalizes the extra tax—which will be on top of all of the other taxes levied on people—will end up making things even, since it claims the workers save a considerable amount of money by being at home. Meanwhile, the bank announced roughly 18,000 layoffs and told its employees to work from home.
Jim Reid, the global head of fundamental credit strategy and thematic research at Deutsche Bank, said, “Working from home will be part of the ‘new normal’ well after the pandemic has passed.” According to Reid, the tax penalties placed on people working remotely should be used to “fund material income subsidies for low-income earners who are unable to work remotely and thus assume more ‘old economy’ and health risks.”
The report asserts that remote workers don’t contribute to society, but sap its resources, which is a “is a big problem for the economy.” The bank’s argument is that remote workers don’t have to spend money on things, such as commuting, dining out for lunch and purchasing clothes. The report further claims that these folks have greater job security, convenience, flexibility and safety.
The report is tone-deaf and misguided. It’s a thinly veiled socialistic plan and an obvious virtue-signaling program. The bank, which has been accused of abetting money laundering, does not account for everything a person needs to do at home. Unless employees were offered stipends to set up home offices, remote workers have had to take on the financial burden of making sure they are equipped to work from home. With extra time spent at home, employees have incurred increased payments in their utility bills. They have to be their own computer technician, troubleshooting complicated issues on their own. Many people have to juggle their job, along with childcare and helping them with glitchy online classes.
People have to deal with isolation and the attendant mental health issues. Without easy access to their colleagues in the office, they’ve lost the camaraderie and esprit de corps of the workplace. Not being in close proximity to their managers, there’s fear that they’ll get overlooked and no one will know of their accomplishments. Studies have shown that people have been logging into their computes and working longer hours during the week, as well as working on the weekends too.
Remote workers no longer embark upon a two-hour-plus round trip, commuting to and from the office. Driving and taking the mass transit has substantially declined. This helps save the environment, as there are fewer cars and buses on the road. There is considerably less wear and tear on the roads, tunnels, bridges and infrastructure. In light of this, remote workers should actually receive a 5% rebate as a “thank you” for contributing to help support the environment.
President-elect Joe Biden has laid out a tax plan that will increase taxes for corporations and people earning over $400,000 per annum. He claims that taxes won’t be raised on those earning under that amount. He will roll back most of the Trump tax cuts, which would be a de facto tax increase for many Americans.
I’m not suggesting that Biden is being disingenuous, but given the current Covid-19 pandemic and the devastation it’s wrought on the economy, along with destroying millions of jobs and the permanent closures and bankruptcy of companies, it’s reasonable to conclude that municipalities, states and the federal government will see a drastic decline in tax revenue. They depend upon the funds to run the country, employ teachers, firemen, police officers, support the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and pay lawmakers in Washington. We’ve built up an enormous multitrillion-dollar debt by pumping money into the economy, in an effort to keep it from collapsing. The only choices left for Biden and local elected officials are to raise taxes, cut services or both.
It’s ridiculous to add on another 5% tax, in addition to all of the taxes the American people are already incurring—ranging from taxes on our salaries, homes, consumer goods and the highway tolls. Perhaps, a more appropriate tax proposal would be to levy taxes against big foreign banks that operate in the U.S. and are accused of breaking our security rules and regulations. To continue operating, the bank should be assessed at least a 5% daily tax on its revenue.
As a large global bank, Deutsche Bank has many dealings with commercial real estate, and if the work-from-home trend continues post-pandemic, this won’t bode well for people who are invested in commercial real estate. So, we have to question whether this stance proposing a 5% tax is self-serving.