By: Global Mobility Solutions

November 10, 2020

Global Mobility Solutions knows the importance of pre-decision tax planning. As the pioneer of the benefits of pre-decision services, GMS understands how to identify the markers of success in relocations. Clients know that partnering with us early in the process helps increase relocation success. It also helps increase their transferee’s productivity on their new job. Our wide range of services help clients identify those employees who are the best fit and best suited for the assignment.

GMS spoke with Erika Beddow, Business Development Manager at Global Mobility Tax, LLP.  Erika has over 20 years’ experience in public accounting with the last 12 years specializing in the Global Mobility industry. Erika agreed to share her expert guidance on the issue of pre-decision tax planning.

What is Pre-Decision Tax Planning?

Whenever she is asked this question, Erika states that pre-decision tax planning is an extremely important consideration for relocation programs. Employers should be well-prepared for a successful global relocation. Relocating an employee globally can be beneficial to both the employer and employee. However, global relation can cause many issues if tax planning is insufficient.

Before sending an employee on a global assignment, employers should know the basics. This includes knowing how the host location will tax employees. It also includes understanding the taxes the company will need to pay. Whether the relocation is permanent or short-term, employers should understand the tax costs upfront. This will help them prepare accurate global relocation budgets. It will also help them avoid any possible tax compliance penalties.

COVID-19 Pandemic Puts the Brakes on Global Relocation

Many employers have found global relocations interrupted or halted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Erika believes that as countries start to recover and lift visa restrictions, employers will start considering international moves for employees. As companies look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, pre-decision tax planning will be an essential part of relocating their employees.

Tax regulations are increasingly complicated and can increase the tax burden for both the company and employee. Pre-decision tax planning should be reviewed by assignment type to understand what the tax implications are in each location. This could vary depending on location, assignment type, and allowances paid. Some of the more common allowances offered may generate tax obligations.

Common Allowances for Global Assignments

  • Moving allowance for both the employee and family (includes airfare and shipping)
  • Housing allowances (either temporary or for the duration of the assignment)
  • Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
  • Home finding assistance
  • Home sale / lease break costs
  • Spousal support
  • Child tuition in the host location
  • Tax gross ups – increased tax costs typically know, as “tax on tax.” These are calculated to ensure the employee is not out of pocket for taxes on assignment-related expenses.

5 Steps to Take for Pre-Decision Tax Planning

Erika notes that employers should always be looking to reduce the tax impact that employee global assignments have on their company. Below are 5 steps employers should take now to ensure a simple, smooth, and successful global relocation.

1: Start global tax planning prior to the assignment—“pre-decision tax planning.” This will ensure you have the best type of assignment policy in place for this relocation for both the company and employee, while also minimizing global tax costs.

2: Review the global income and social tax treaties to minimize excess tax costs associated with each assignment.

3: Contact payroll to ensure set up and reporting is complete in both locations.

4: Educate employees on taxes in both locations to ensure the employee understands the implications in both countries via home and host tax consultations.

5: Provide tax assistance in both home and host locations for your employees. This will ensure proper compliance in both jurisdictions.

Proper Planning Saves Time, Money, and Provides Peace of Mind

Planning properly can save your company time and money. As a result, you can have peace of mind that tax issues will not arise from a global relocation. However, improper planning could cause damage to your company’s reputation, in addition to tax costs and compliance penalties.

Experts at Global Mobility Tax, LLP Understand the Importance of Pre-Decision Tax Planning

Global Mobility Tax, LLP has helped companies understand the overall cost of an assignment and its tax implications. We can help your company plan the assignment structure to have the best outcome for both the company and employee. Global Mobility Tax, LLP provides expert tax support, education, and awareness to clients and their employees in order to ensure corporate compliance and employee satisfaction.

Erika is always ready to meet to help employers learn more about being compliant and building internal processes to support their mobile workforce.


GMS’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients learn the importance of pre-decision tax planning for their global relocations. Our mobility consulting team can help your company understand how to leverage pre-decision tax planning to reduce global tax compliance issues with the assistance of the experts at Global Mobility Tax, LLP.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a “.com.” The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation® technology platform.

New SafeRelo™ COVID-19 Knowledge Portal

GMS recently launched its new SafeRelo™ COVID-19 Knowledge Portal featuring a number of helpful resources including:

  • Curated selection of news and articles specific to managing relocation programs and issues relating to COVID-19
  • Comprehensive guide to national, international, and local online sources for current data
  • Program/Policy Evaluation (PPE) Tool for instant relocation policy reviews

Learn more about the importance of pre-decision tax planning. Contact our experts online or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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Customers choose Global Mobility Solutions’ business model because it is rooted in providing our clients and their transferees the freedom of choice. This means our clients are given the choice to work with “the best of the best” service providers in any market around the globe. GMS is able to offer this unique model in the industry because unlike most relocation companies, we are not owned by or affiliated with any one real estate, household goods, or any 3rd party service provider. GMS has been able to build strong relationships with top providers all over the world who act as an extension of GMS. Our worldwide network of partners allow us flexibility while providing our clients with a real-time, on-the ground consultant to assist with the day to day needs of the individual and family moving.

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