Your Employees May Be Filing Their Taxes at Work

Apr 15 2019 - Workplace Policies - Katie Culliton

Tax Day is April 15

Tax day is today! Whether you’ve had to pay or received a refund, one thing is certain – your employees have most likely been working on their taxes while on the job!

Forty-three percent of workers say it’s common for employees to prepare their taxes during business hours, according to a new Accountemps survey. Additionally, half of all respondents indicate employees use company equipment and resources, like the copier, printer, scanner or mailroom, to complete their tax paperwork.

That is a big jump from 2014 when only 30 percent of workers said it was common for employees to spend time on personal income tax preparation at work and used company resources.

Some companies are proactively addressing the distraction of filing taxes. Thirty-one percent of companies provide perks for their employees like discounts for financial software or services or on-site tax preparers.

“It’s easy to mix work and personal priorities during tax season, and employers are generally sympathetic to tax deadlines. Still, employees should avoid taking advantage of their company’s time, equipment and resources,” said Michael Steinitz, global executive director of Accountemps, in a press release. “Beyond the possible embarrassment of being discovered, there is also the risk of accidentally exposing sensitive personal financial records by leaving documents in the copier or inadvertently emailing a coworker.”

Establishing an employer property and privacy policy will help employers avoid claims of invasion of privacy. In your policy, you should let employees know when they can and cannot use your property. For example, you can state that employees cannot use printers for personal reasons, such as printing out invitations to their family reunion.

Katie Culliton, Editor, CalChamber

An employer property policy is available as part of CalChamber’s Employee Handbook Creator®. CalChamber members can read more about Monitoring Employees in the HR Library. Not a member? See what CalChamber can do for you.

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