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The Perfect Fit: What to Look for in a Mobility Tax Services Provider


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Has this happened to you? 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 of their usual 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 providing corporate tax services to your company. 

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 level of service you expected.

It’s not unusual for a company with a small or mid-sized mobility program to feel like they are “a small fish in a big pond.” That’s because they often are. Large firms providing mobility tax services tend to prioritize their largest clients, which often means clients with smaller programs don’t receive the timely and proactive attention they need to successfully manage their mobile workforce on a daily basis.

So, it may be time to ask yourself—Do you receive the responsive, actionable advice you need to quickly respond to the complexities your company is facing? Do you receive the timely guidance needed to allow your mobility program to properly meet the needs of your business? Do you wish you were receiving a more personalized approach to your specific mobility situations? The answers to these questions will help you determine if you need to find a new pond.

Does your mobility tax services firm give actionable advice, or simply provide reports?

Situation: Large accounting firms come with large-scale technology platforms. These platforms have powerful analytics and software solutions that seemingly provide you with the most up-to-date information in a variety of formats. But how much of that information do you need or use? Does the ability to quickly look at a report provide you with the actionable advice you need to become compliant, or does it become just one more weekly report that gets filed away?

While technology and information are certainly needed, large-scale technology platforms don’t always fit the actual requirements of some mobility programs. Additionally, such technology solutions can be cost-prohibitive for companies with a smaller population of mobile employees.

Right-Fit Solution: Your mobility tax provider should use technology to help guide you in making the right decisions for your mobility program. What good is a multi-page report of analytics if you don’t know what to do with the information? Make sure your provider has a technology platform robust enough to support your mobility program, and one that will provide meaningful results and actionable guidance to support you and your mobile employees. You should never need to worry that your provider is trying to upsell you on technology you don’t need and won’t use.

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Are your issues being resolved in a timely manner?

Situation: When you have a mobility tax question, it may take days to get an answer from a large provider. Why? Your main point of contact may simply not have the depth of knowledge and experience to provide you with an answer without first talking to a more experienced, senior colleague. Often, the main point of contact at a large firm is an associate with only 3 to 4 years of experience, and they likely need to request the insight of senior team members who may not know the specifics of your program. It takes time to get them up to speed so they can provide the answers and guidance you need.

  • Does your provider spend valuable time getting others on their team up to speed with your company and tax situation?
  • Are there delays because junior staff members need upper management to sign off on advice?
  • Do you find yourself constantly chasing your tax contact to respond?

Your organization is paying a lot of money for services and deserves timely responses to questions.

Right-Fit Solution: Working with a mobility tax provider that is the right fit for your company includes one that assigns a dedicated team of experienced professionals, ensuring you receive actionable advice in a timely manner. Having a dedicated team not only ensures everyone working with you will be well-versed in the specifics of your situation, but it also minimizes downtime when your main contacts are unavailable. The result is timely responses when it comes to providing your company with technical expertise and practical advice to address your issues.

Are you getting the personalized advice you deserve?

Situation: Many providers tend to take a “we’ve seen it all before” approach when it comes to offering advice to their small to mid-sized mobility clients. They have a bundle of standard services they offer other companies in your situation, and they may not look at the unique challenges you are facing. While this “cookie-cutter approach” can provide a quick fix for typical challenges seen within mobility tax programs, it can also create gaps in your specific program and leave you with many unanswered questions.

Oftentimes it also leads to your provider being unfamiliar with your needs and unengaged at a time when you need answers quickly. You shouldn’t have to chase down answers to your questions and concerns; your tax services provider should anticipate the difficulties you might face and be ready with timely solutions to help mitigate risks.

Right-Fit Solution: Instead, what you need is a mobility tax provider that is the right fit for your company and will act as your partner and as an extension of your mobility team. One that is actively looking to simplify your mobility program and keep you in the loop when it comes to decision-making. This allows you and your company to act with confidence when addressing the tax issues that inevitably arise when you have a mobile or remote workforce, and to have answers ready for upper management questions regarding mobile workforce decisions and policies.

Most mobility tax providers will keep on top of the compliance issues you face and be ready to help. However, finding a firm that will take the time to explain these issues and provide the steps you should take to address the challenges only comes when you are working with a provider that is the right fit for your mobility program. One that is willing to go the extra mile and take the time to be your guide, walking you through each challenge and how it may directly affect your program and mobile employees.

Is it time to look for a new mobility tax services provider?

If you recognize your situation in some of the examples above, it might be time to find a new mobility tax services provider for your company—one that is responsive to your questions and concerns, provides a coordinated approach to your mobility needs, and offers technology solutions you will actually use. Look for a provider that will act as an extension of your mobility team. You and your company deserve to be treated better than “a small fish in a large pond.”

Mobility tax specialists

Author: Mark Tirpak

Mark serves as Managing Director and has been with GTN since 2015. He has over 25 years of professional experience in advising multinational companies on global mobility related issues, including expatriate taxation, payroll, equity compensation planning, international assignment policy review, and program administration. Having been an expat himself enhanced his desire to assist and help simplify the process for assignees who are overseas. +1.713.244.5020 |
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