ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic had some people asking why they were paying a St. Louis earnings tax if they were not working in the city limits. The one percent earnings tax is charged to city residents and nonresidents who work in the St. Louis. A lawsuit was filed a year and a half ago on behalf of six people who were working outside the city and paying the tax.

Thursday, Circuit Judge Jason Sengheiser of the City of St. Louis made a decision in the case. He says that a phrase in the ordinance that says, “work performed or services rendered in the City,” applies only to those who are actually present in the city.

A class-action ruling in the case was denied in January 2022. So, this ruling only applies to the six people involved in the lawsuit.

Billboards directing people to a website to protest the 2020 earnings tax were posted soon after the lawsuit was filed. The collector of revenue sent out a statement in 2021 that said, “If your place of employment is in the city, and you are required to travel for business outside the city to meet customers etc. Those days can be deducted from your earnings tax calculation.”

Lawyers W. Bevis Schock and Mark Milton think that people who are eligible can apply for a tax refund for the year 2021 until April 18, 2023. They will keep going with this case and appeal the decision to not let it be a class action. If you did not live in the City of St. Louis, worked remotely, and had to pay the earnings tax, then you can still sign up for this lawsuit at stlrefund.com.


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