Schedule a Call

The Role of Technology in Managing Your Global Mobility Program


The Role of Technology reduced

Any company with a mobile workforce needs a solid technology platform to effectively manage their mobility program. This technology often includes features such as dashboards that provide near-real-time monitoring of an employee's tax information, portals that allow taxpayers to upload tax documents, and tracking capabilities that help monitor mobile employee locations. And now in the age of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools, it's more important than ever to utilize technology to streamline and strengthen your mobility program. However, simply having access to technology and information is rarely enough to address the tax compliance challenges that often come with a mobile workforce.

Why technology is important to your mobility program.

The technology used to track the tax compliance of a company's mobile employee population can confuse even the most experienced mobility professionals, who may be uncertain of how to make use of all the data it provides. However, with the help of an experienced mobility tax specialist, this data can provide your company with invaluable guidance when managing your mobility program.

One of the most fundamental functions of any mobility technology platform is to help keep track of your mobile employees. Knowing the whereabouts of your employees and how long they have been in a certain location is important to identify any compliance issues. Utilizing technology ensures that both the company and employee are complying with the location’s payroll reporting and tax filing requirements and can help monitor whether they have been in the location long enough to be considered a resident for tax purposes.

In addition, mobile employee tax technology can do more for your company's cross-border operations than just tracking employment taxes and ensuring employee compliance. For instance, it can help with tax planning strategies related to issues such as value-added tax, or VAT, refunds for traveling employees. Unfortunately, many business travelers are unaware that nonresidents may be eligible for a refund of any VAT paid while traveling in the European Union. By leveraging mobile employee tax technology, businesses can ensure that their employees are taking advantage of all available tax benefits.

A reputable mobility tax firm should be equipped with technology tools that can support your business planning and compliance needs. For instance, if your cross-border employees have equity income, the mobility tax firm should have the necessary tools to help companies meet their global tax reporting and withholding obligations. If you have business travelers, the firm should have technology that can proactively identify risks and compliance requirements before an employee's travel, allowing for better management of company costs and administrative requirements.

Ultimately, your mobility tax provider should be able to help you solve problems with the aid of appropriate technology, rather than simply selling technology that may not come with an implementation plan that is suitable for your organization.

Evaluate what information is necessary to your mobility program.

A major issue with the technology-based approach taken by many mobility tax services firms is the high cost of their solutions. These solutions often come with features that your company may not need or use, resulting in an unnecessarily expensive program.

Furthermore, many mobility tax service providers attempt to attract new clients by offering flashy technology solutions to reduce or replace the guidance of a mobility tax professional. Technology can provide you with an extensive amount of data, but without someone to interpret and explain it, the data is not particularly meaningful or useful.

It is essential to ensure that your company doesn’t implement a mobility tax solution that offers flashy technology with lots of data outputs, without ensuring the solution also comes with personalized guidance on how to best leverage that data. Ensuring your mobility tax solution is comprehensive will guarantee your mobility program can run as effectively and efficiently as possible, ensuring you are getting the most out of your technology investment.

What to look for in a mobility tax services provider.

Your mobility tax provider should operate as an integral part of your team, providing the services and technology your company requires to monitor your mobile workforce needs. They should be able to leverage and interpret data generated by technology to help your company assess current risks, identify gaps in your compliance program and mobility policies, and anticipate future needs. This information can then be used to help you build and maintain a successful mobility program.

Your partnership with a mobility tax services provider should give you and your team time to focus on more important issues such as the well-being of your mobile employees and the overall success of your program. If you find you are spending too much time analyzing data without getting true results, it may be time to evaluate your mobility tax provider. It’s important to work with a mobility tax services provider that functions as an extension of your mobility team; one who is willing to collaborate with your other strategic vendors such as your relocation management company, payroll provider, and immigration firm.

If you think it might be time to find a new mobility tax services provider—one that is responsive to your questions and concerns and offers solutions addressing the specific needs of your company—take look at our eBook, The Definitive Guide to Evaluating Mobility Tax Providers.

Not only should you work with vendors who integrate seamlessly with one another, you should utilize platforms and technology that combine the technical expertise of each vendor. This creates a technology-enabled ecosystem and can provide you with a one-stop-shop for managing all your global mobility needs. As an example, GTN and Centuro Global have combined forces to develop a first-of-its-kind international remote working and assignment compliance tool. This tool, once available, will combine Centuro Global's immigration and legal services, alongside GTN’s extensive mobility tax knowledge and provides a seamless self-serve experience, providing customized reports based on factors such as worker nationality, length of assignment, locations, and other key demographics.

Whatever technology-enabled solution you choose to adopt, it’s important to remember that it shouldn’t replace simple human interaction. Whenever you send an employee on a business trip or an assignment to a new location, they will likely have a number of questions. To ensure your mobility providers offer the best possible support, make sure they have experienced professionals who have a comprehensive understanding of the employee's Home and Host locations and who will be available to answer any queries that arise. 

How to integrate technology with hands-on expert advice.

While the demand for remote working, workations (i.e., working in a usual mode while traveling long-term), and global talent mobility remains high, it’s essential for organizations to integrate technology and expert advice effectively.

Streamline workation requests. With the increase in workations and remote work, HR managers and mobility program leaders need tools that allow them to assess, approve, and process requests quickly and seamlessly. By utilizing specialized platforms that combine multiple services, such as immigration and mobility tax, you can create a centralized way to handle workation inquiries.

Simplify compliance and reporting. One of the paramount advantages of seamlessly integrating technology with expert advice lies in the simplification of compliance and reporting processes. By harnessing the power of technology, HR leaders can offload administrative and often repetitive tasks that consume their time, allowing them to concentrate on their diverse job responsibilities.

Meet regulatory challenges. Global mobility programs must address many regulatory challenges, including immigration, tax obligations, and legal considerations. Technology, combined with expert advice, can assist in staying compliant with local laws and regulations. Partnering with mobility tax experts and immigration specialists can help organizations navigate complex legal landscapes. This collaboration ensures that your program stays ahead of regulatory changes and safeguards against potential risks.

Foster employee satisfaction and diverse talent acquisition. The adoption of "work from anywhere" models not only improves employee satisfaction but also widens the talent pool and promotes workforce diversity. Technology, when combined with expert advice, can help facilitate these initiatives without overburdening HR and legal departments with additional costs and workload.

Mobility tax services firm and technology working together for you.

The data provided by your mobility technology solution can be invaluable, but it can also be overwhelming. Without the help of a mobility tax services firm, it can be difficult to make sense of the information and to identify the answers your company needs to run a successful and compliant mobility program. Your provider should act as a partner, helping you to understand your tax data and providing clear, actionable guidance based on that information.

Integrating technology with hands-on expert advice is the key to effectively managing global mobility programs in the digital age. By combining the power of technology platforms with the insights of seasoned professionals, HR managers and mobility program leaders can navigate the complexities of remote work, workations, and global talent mobility with confidence and efficiency. This approach not only enhances compliance and cost-effectiveness but also contributes to the overall success of the mobility program.

New call-to-action

Author: Kristie Moon

Kristie joined GTN in 2014 and currently serves as Senior Manager. She has over ten years of international tax experience and assists clients with tax consulting, planning, and compliance related to expatriates and foreign nationals. Clients appreciate that Kristie understands that each situation, client, and taxpayer is unique, and she focuses her attention on providing custom service to meet their individualized needs. +1.763.496.0941 |
Find me on: