Look for Value, Not Just the Lowest Cost
Choose a global mobility tax firm that has the capacity and skill set to work as an extension of your mobility team.
This includes not only the mobility manager and mobile employees but also the extended vendor team, including payroll providers, relocation providers, and immigration firms. Clients face challenges along the global mobility journey that may be outside the scope of services one single vendor can manage. By working with a firm that works strategically with your other vendors, you can often realize additional cost savings and added value.
For example, your payroll department may face challenges with payroll tax for mobile employees, and they will require tax guidance. The right mobility tax provider will not only prepare tax returns but also act as an educator to help their clients navigate these peripheral challenges. They provide more value because they give actionable data and advice that can be used to make decisions. It is not just a matter of an organization making its decision based on the fees they pay for tax return preparation; it is much more beneficial to gauge the overall value received by working with a firm that will guide its clients through the entire process.
Additionally, be wary of firms that overemphasize low compliance fees. To understand your total actual costs, you need to understand the whole billing process—both compliance fees and rates for hourly consulting work. To offset artificially low compliance fees, some firms will charge significantly higher fees for consulting services, resulting in a higher overall cost to the client. When comparing fees for services, it is important to look at the cost of compliance items such as individual tax returns or obtaining a Certificate of Coverage, but it is equally important to understand the hourly rates that will be charged for consulting services because those fees can add up quickly. Request an estimate of the anticipated actual number of hours your program is likely to incur for consulting advisory work, and keep that number in mind when you evaluate firms.