As the future of work continues to evolve, providing a “positive employee experience” is top of mind for companies. While some organizations have gone back to in-office working arrangements, many have retained a full or partial remote workforce culture. These businesses see the provision of a flexible workplace as critical to not only retaining key employees, but also in recruiting top talent to fill essential job duties. And while this incentive is a benefit for the employee and employer, there are important duty of care responsibilities that need to be considered when you have a remote workforce.
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With today’s ability to work from anywhere, understanding and staying on top of the reporting and ongoing US filing requirements can be difficult. However, for employees working outside of their typical Home location, not only understanding these requirements but being diligent in adhering to them is especially important. Taxpayers are often surprised by the tax filing obligations and are often not prepared to handle the detailed reporting requirements. For US citizens, permanent residents working outside of the US, and citizens of other countries who become tax residents of the US, there is a specific annual filing requirement related to any non-US financial accounts held.
Imagine this: you are sitting at your desk working to finalize the weekly status update. In walks the president of the company and says, “In order to increase our business, we are expanding overseas. I would like to send Jane Smith to Germany for three years. How soon can you make this happen?”
I’ll bet the questions that race through your mind are the same as every other HR manager tasked with sending employees internationally for the first time:
- Where do I start?
- What do I need to consider?
- What processes need to be in place?
The provision of long-term incentives, such as stock options and other equity compensation, to employees who work in multiple locations has always been challenging. Because not all jurisdictions treat equity income in the same manner for tax purposes, companies can face many uncertainties when trying to understand their reporting and withholding obligations. Mobile employees can face complex tax filings and even double taxation.
It happens all the time. Your company has a mobile workforce spread out over multiple jurisdictions, and you realize you need help with the mobility tax complexities that come with having employees working outside their usual work location. So, you reach out to a well-known large accounting firm offering an impressive list of services, technology, and experts, and who may already be doing your corporate tax work. You know they can handle the number of mobile employees you have, and you’re pretty sure they won’t mess things up because they’ve been doing this for decades. But somewhere along the line you realize this provider may be a bit too big for you and you aren’t getting the high-level of service you expected.
Now that the chaos of another US tax busy season has passed, it’s an opportune time to reflect on your mobility program with a post-tax season check-up. Taking time now to review this past busy season will allow you and your mobility tax provider to discover ways to enhance the employee experience, highlight areas of risk and outline necessary actions, and understand areas of frustration so you can strategize possible improvements. To guide you through this review, we’ve created a checklist that includes key considerations and tips for a successful and rewarding post-tax season assessment.