One of the more popular trends in business as of late has been utilising virtual office spaces, with everyone from the small business to the large corporation, and especially those that do most or all of their business online using them. A new survey sponsored by Virtual PBX shows that the virtual office is increasingly popular among small to medium sized business owners, as well as their employees. Sixty one percent of them named flexibility as the most popular reason that they used a virtual office, with more than fifty percent choosing virtual offices because of costs. Other reasons included cutting down on a commute.
So, what exactly is a virtual office and why are more and more businesses choosing them? The idea for the virtual office came as a result of the innovation age, when modern technology allowed for some office functions to be done remotely, as well as a result of the Executive Suites that offered ready-made offices to businesses. Virtual offices offer services such as a remote receptionist, virtual assistant, voicemail and answering services, package reception at a specific location, meeting rooms and vanity businesses addresses in well-known professional locations.
One is that has arisen is that taxes are a little confusing when it comes to a virtual office. The corporations that do business in virtual offices may be incorporated in a completely different region, and their employees can be from anywhere in the world. The Superior Court in the US recently ruled that employers who outsource tele-workers will be required to have their taxes paid to the state that they reside in and that the company would be subject to Corporation Business Tax, and be required to file tax returns in the State the employee resides in.
The Corporation in question, Telebright, appealed this decision claiming that the Corporate Business Tax (CBT) Act should not have been applied to the small number of activities that were conducted in New Jersey. The original decision was upheld by the Tax Court, with the appeal denied by the Appellate Division, leading some to question what the future of taxation will be for companies that choose to do business this way. Employers that do business in a virtual office setting may have to worry about Corporate Business Tax if they have even one employee in the state. Similar issue are arising globally for companies using virtual offices but generally problems are avoided.
No matter what the future of taxes is for virtual offices, they still remain popular. More and more Australian businesses are choosing to use workers that are doing their job from home via the internet and virtual offices are the perfect solution for that kind of setup. Businesses still get the things that they need, like a professional receptionist that can not only take messages and forward calls, but also receive physical packages and greet visitors, but when a face-to-face work environment is required, virtual offices can step in and provide meeting rooms on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.
According to Wikipedia, the need for the virtual office is present in just about every industry, with some of the ones already utilising the service include attorneys and law firms, companies that have sales people that are mobile, home based businesses and trade related businesses that do most of their work outside of the office, but still need some of the services an office provide. Also, doctors and dentists may use some of the virtual office’s services, and for collection agencies, mortgage companies and other financial services the virtual office may be the perfect solution. However, while all of these companies will likely save money by using this tool, they may still be required to pay taxes for using these spaces.