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What are the tax implications of hiring remote developers?

Hi there, startup founders! Your question about tax implications when hiring remote developers is a critical one.

It points to the necessity of understanding the financial dynamics when transitioning to remote development teams. It’s crucial for successful business management, and I’m thrilled to delve into it!

Short Answer

The tax implications can vary based on the developers’ location – domestically or internationally.

If they are U.S.-based, you may be subject to state income tax obligations. If the developers are located overseas, income tax obligations may differ based on international tax laws and agreements.

Domestic Remote Developers

If you’re hiring remote developers located within the U.S. but outside your state, you may be subject to ‘nexus’ taxes, meaning you might need to pay income tax in the state where your developers reside. This is because some states consider hiring remote workers in their state as having a business presence there.

Each state has its own laws, so it’s essential to check specific state regulations. For instance, California has strong nexus laws, meaning businesses with remote workers here might need to pay state income tax.

International Remote Developers

Hiring remote developers overseas involves understanding international tax laws.

Developers are often considered independent contractors, which means they are responsible for their taxes based on their country’s laws.

However, tax treaties or agreements might come into play, reducing or eliminating double taxation, which is when you’re taxed in the U.S. and in the developer’s country.

The IRS provides extensive information on international taxation, which you might find helpful.

Practical Tips

Consult with a taxation specialist: Given the complexities of tax laws, it’s crucial to seek professional advice.

A tax specialist or CPA with experience in remote worker taxation can provide guidance and ensure that you’re compliant with all relevant laws and requirements.

Use a payroll like Paychex and Justworks can handle your payroll requirements. They can help manage tax obligations and stay updated on any changes in law related to remote workers.

Learn more about hiring remote developers in our in-depth piece: A Guide to Hiring Remote Developers, where we touch on various aspects, including best hiring practices and managing remote teams.


In conclusion, the tax implications of hiring remote developers depend largely on the developers’ location – domestically or internationally. For domestic developers, you might need to pay ‘nexus’ taxes in the state where the developer resides.

International developers, are typically considered independent contractors and are responsible for their taxes. However, tax treaties might eliminate or reduce the instances of double taxation. It’s crucial to consult with a tax specialist to ensure you are following the correct tax requirements.


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