Being a global mobility manager often requires wearing many hats. Leading an internal team and a slew of outsourced partners around the world to manage a corporate global mobility program requires a plethora of key skills and capabilities. 

Not to mention global mobility managers must have the ability to engage in long and short term strategic planning and also transact on tactical day-to-day issues, all while attempting to build programs that are compliant, effective (cost and service) and efficient. 

They need to look at the granular and step back and look again from 30,000 feet. They must be detail and process driven and also innovative and creative They must have a strong working knowledge of every aspect of the program from policy and all the specific benefits and approaches, to supply-chain management, to immigration requirements, to talent management agendas and, of course, to the unavoidable finance and tax side.

As expatriate tax matters become increasingly complex, and with home and host locations expanding into developing countries, global mobility managers face a difficult task. Their role (and the related internal departments and external tax partners) revolves around the following actions when it comes to expatriate tax:

  • Determining the overall policy strategy and treatment (tax equalization, tax protection,  laissez-faire, ad hoc)
  • Establishing  what income the policy should cover (company source, personal)
  • Establishing  hypothetical tax formulas and ensure appropriate tax withholdings
  • Managing the  services of the external tax provider
  • Ensuring compliance  with home and host tax regulations

The discussion provides an overview of each aspect and issues to consider when making policy decisions around tax. Karen Cygal and Roger Herod from Mercer do a great job of explaining, "The Role of Human Resources in Expatriate Tax Matters."