It’s been over twenty years since I made my own global mobility move, relocating from the UK to the US. Back then, I was a lowly minion at one of the accounting giants at that time. To say my relocation package was sparse would be an understatement. I received a bit of temporary housing support when I first arrived and that was pretty much it. Off I went. Even from a distance of over two decades, I still remember the stress of the move and trying to get myself situated. Little did I realize that I would be the precursor to a growing trend in global mobility—the self-requested move with little or no company assistance.
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An employee is likely to see an offer of an international assignment as a vote of confidence from an employer and an opportunity for career advancement. However, there are a number of questions the mobile employee should ask of his or her employer prior to accepting the international assignment, especially when it comes to questions related to regulatory requirements (e.g., immigration, tax compliance) and compensation and benefits issues in both the employee’s Home and Host countries.
Improvements in technology have made it easier than ever for companies to account for employees operating in overseas locations. The reduction in technological barriers has also made it possible for businesses to take advantage of a telecommuting workforce, located in both their Home country and overseas. The convergence of the two trends has resulted in an increasing number of companies discovering that they must now address the tax and payroll compliance issues that result from employees operating outside of their Home country.