Over the last few weeks, the headlines have been filled with coverage about the “TaxCuts and Jobs Act” bill. Discussion has focused on issues ranging from the number of tax brackets to the child tax credit and the alternative minimum tax. The final bill is expected to pass this week, and there are a number of impacts to businesses in America—including changes to how relocation benefits are taxed.
As of December 2nd, different tax reform bills have passed through the House and the Senate. Lawmakers from both houses plan to work out the differences between the two bills and create one final bill to be passed and signed into law by President Trump before Christmas.
Reimbursement policies have been a pillar of employee relocation programs for years. Over time they evolved, but rather than increase in efficiency, they typically became more time consuming, burdensome, and a hassle to relocating employees, relocation professionals, and payroll departments. Even as technology improved other burdensome processes, reimbursement procedures remained frustratingly manual. UrbanBound’s new expense management solution tackles this very obstacle.
What’s causing this disconnect? The answer varies, but according to CareerBuilder’s 2015 Skills Gap Study, 55% of employers blame educational gaps in particular areas. Others believe it is caused by educational challenges related to new technologies, outsourcing jobs to other countries, or lack of knowledge about potential career opportunities.
Regardless of what’s causing the skills gap, most employers agree — finding good talent is tough. Which begs a couple questions: Where do you find top talent and how do you seal the deal once you’ve found your ideal candidate?
When someone finds out they are moving to a new location, they’re typically filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation. New city, new job, new experiences, and a new chapter in someone’s life.
Yet, when it comes time to start diving into the logistics, those feelings of excitement and anticipation can quickly morph into feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. All the work that goes into moving starts to add up quickly and the relocation transforms from an exciting adventure to an overwhelming, tiring journey.
We can all agree that communicating relocation benefits to employees is important. It’s critical for a relocating employee to understand if they’re eligible for relocation benefits, what benefits they qualify for, and how to use them.
How we communicate those benefits and what exactly we communicate is the difficult part.
Deciding how and what to communicate is even harder if you’re writing a relocation policy for the first time. Most companies start by communicating relocation benefits in an informal way, such as in an offer letter, and eventually move to a formalized document as they grow (and subsequently administer more relocations). If your company is moving toward more formalized documentation, even knowing where to start writing a relocation policy can be challenging.
Even if you already have a relocation policy, reviewing it periodically is critical to ensure the language is clear and effective. Sometimes small changes get added to a relocation policy over time and, without reviewing it frequently, can turn into a lengthy, hard to understand document that creates confusion for transferees.
Whether you are just starting to write a relocation policy or are re-evaluating your current policy, keep in mind that every relocation policy should answer: who is eligible for relocation benefits, what relocation benefits are offered, and what are the tax implications.