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Deadline for U.S. Overseas Accounts

On 4 September 2018, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminded taxpayers that the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) is scheduled to close on 28 September 2018, and that applications thereafter will be rejected.

This is a program that in various forms has been running since 2009. It allows taxpayers who have failed to disclose and pay tax on offshore accounts to come forward voluntarily in exchange for relief from criminal prosecution and reduced penalties. The IRS announced in March that the program would end 28 September, and is now reminding taxpayers of that deadline.

Since 2009, more than 56,000 taxpayers have used the program to come into compliance with United States tax laws, and have paid a total of $11.1 billion in back taxes, interest, and penalties, according to the IRS. However, the number of taxpayers coming forward has steadily declined, with only some 600 applications in 2017.  

The IRS says it will continue to maintain a separate program, the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures, which is used by taxpayers who simply didn’t understand their reporting responsibilities but owe minimal taxes. About 65,000 taxpayers have used that program.

The IRS credits implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), under which it receives reports of foreign bank accounts from the institutions in which the accounts are maintained, or from the countries in which those accounts are maintained, for increasing compliance and decreasing the need for the OVDP. It also credits aggressive compliance efforts with reducing foreign noncompliance. According to IRS, since 2009, some 1,545 taxpayers have been indicted and prosecuted for international tax avoidance.  

Related: U.S. Treasury Proposes Regulations to Stop Workarounds of State & Local Tax Deduction Limit

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SEP
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U.S. State Conformity to Tax Reform Moving Expense Change

In May of 2018, Worldwide ERC® published an article detailing how the various states had so far reacted to the suspension of the deduction/exclusion for moving expenses in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that took effect on 1 January 2018. Worldwide ERC® also addressed the issue in an article published in the August issue of Mobility Magazine.

Since that time, other states have acted. This article provides a current scorecard.  

States that conform to federal tax law do so in two ways. Some automatically adopt changes unless the legislature acts to reject them (called “rolling” conformity). Others adopt the all or part of the federal tax code as of a specific date and must act to update the state conformity date each time the federal law changes (called “static” conformity).

Static Conformity States

Ten states have conformed to the disallowance of the moving expense deduction/exclusion (up from six in the May report). The states added are italicized.  

GeorgiaIdahoIndianaIowaNorth CarolinaOhioOregonVermontWest VirginiaWisconsin

However, Iowa’s conformity does not take effect until 2019, so moving expense reimbursements/payments remain excludable from Iowa income in 2018.

Four states have updated their conformity in ways that allow the continued excludability of those payments/reimbursements. They are:

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SEP
05
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Mobility Account Management: New and Next

It’s not rocket science to know that the new iteration of work calls for new skill sets. We hear it every day. In fact, we are exposed to it so often we might be getting numb to the urgency it first held. (Picture lots of mobility professionals with fingers in ears chanting “la la la la la.”)

Let’s talk about mobility, and the future, and specifically, about account management. Fingers out of ears, please, so you can hear what Sean Collins of Talent Mobility Search says:

“Account management is no longer just about building and managing relationships. It’s also about being a strategic advisor, a business partner, and a data analytics expert. When we see that combination of talent in individuals, they’re like gold.”  

Hear that? Like gold!

Increasingly, contemporary account management—and the future of account management—is strongly rooted in a consultative approach, enriched with showing one’s client how to leverage analytics. An analytics capability is a learned skill, and one whose value companies are recognizing.

Last year, the world’s largest corporations spent $43 billion on analytics to identify meaningful patterns in large data-sets. Recent findings from Source Global Research showed that 91% of executives believe their company’s use of analytics had generated “substantial value” for the firm.

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SEP
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China Individual Income Tax Changes Will Impact Expats

Changes to China’s Individual Income Tax (IIT) proposed in June are expected to take effect in October of 2018, with full implementation on 1 January 2019. The changes will change tax computations for both residents and non-resident workers earning income in China.

Key changes include making certain expenses deductible for Chinese employees and a reduction of deductions for foreign employees, revisions to the tax brackets to reduce taxes for lower and middle income workers, and changing the rules on when a foreign worker becomes taxable as a resident.

Tax Deductions

Expatriates working in China have previously been allowed to take a number of deductions in computing taxable income, while resident employees were not. Under the new law, all employees will be allowed deductions for:

Child education expensesFurther self-educationSome health care costsInterest on housing loansHousing rent

These deductions will be reported to the employer and reduce tax on monthly income.

The result may be an increase of tax for foreign workers, who were previously allowed deductions for the items above plus laundry expenses, meal allowances, and home flights, among other things. Those deductions are no longer clearly allowable.

Related: China’s New Tax Breaks for Businesses

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SEP
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Talent Mobility Policy and Trends

This article originally appeared in the September 2018 edition of Mobility Magazine.

Talent mobility professionals must strike a delicate balance among meeting corporate objectives, ensuring associate satisfaction, controlling costs, and complying with legal, tax, and immigration regulations. To achieve this balance, companies employ a wide range of mobility programs with varying degrees of flexibility.

Some programs are rigid, offering associates a selected number of benefits based on what “tier” they are in. Yet other programs hand relocating associates a lump-sum payment and ask them to manage their own relocation.

Each mobility program model has advantages and disadvantages. Some are too rigid and extend associates benefits they don’t want or can’t use. Others aren’t rigid enough, allowing too much flexibility, which can increase costs and compromise control, consistency, and compliance. Others can overwhelm associates by placing too much responsibility on them and their families.

Related: Mobility Challenge: Next-Gen Nuances

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AUG
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Navigate Mobility in a Protectionist World at the India Global Mobility Summit

India is home to some of the most innovative companies in the world, and a workforce rapidly embracing a global, mobile mindset. Perhaps nowhere in the country is that more evident than in Bengaluru.

In this bustling southern capital city known as the Silicon Valley of India, a population that exceeds 12 million—and growing—provides a multicultural workforce for its thriving IT hub of technology startups, major global software companies and burgeoning R&D environment. And Indian companies have long been bullish on global mobility, even establishing numerous global mobility shared services centers.

But uncertainty over work visa rules, growing protectionism worldwide and a slowdown in technology spending are causing Indian companies to reevaluate their talent and mobility strategies. Understanding the skills needed for future mobility teams, and positioning to ensure compliance and risk management are critical in navigating this “perfect storm”.

Related: Remote Work in India: A New Normal?

Bengaluru marks the ideal site to equip HR and global mobility professionals to traverse the challenges and embrace the opportunities in India. At Worldwide ERC®’s India Global Mobility Summit, slated for 31 October, participants will hear from international HR leaders, global mobility directors and immigration experts at some of the world’s most successful businesses.

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AUG
30
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How to Choose an International School When Relocating Abroad

With the right preparation and planning, finding the ideal international school can be a smooth and efficient process for expats with children.

You’ve just learned that you’re going to be relocated overseas. All the tasks that need to be done to move your family across the globe begin flooding into your head.

Pack up the house. Find an international bank. Help your spouse find a new job. Enroll your children in a new school.

While all of those tasks are important, discovering the right international school is essential. Moving abroad is an enormous transition for children. Adapting to new surroundings, finding a new friend circle, and possibly having to learn a new language – that’s a lot, regardless of age.

But with the appropriate research before and after relocating, expats can easily find the best educational fit for their kids and help them breeze through what’s likely the biggest change they’ve experienced in their short lives.

The American School in England (TASIS), which operates international schools across the globe, shared their advice on how expats can conduct the search for the ideal educational for their children. TASIS’s checklist brings up a collection of important topics that parents should consider when researching international schools.

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Mobility Challenge: Next-Gen Nuances

No generation is quite like the one that came before it, but there are some elements that never change: the desire for meaningful work and the ability to be heard and contribute, the opportunity to upskill and build one’s career, and the drive to be a valued team member.

In the mobility arena, there’s an imperative to focus on next-gen types to keep developing future leaders – and that means incorporating the nuances that are important to them into their career paths.

A recent Universum survey of 18,000 Generation X, Y and Z professionals and students from 19 countries found that all three generations share an increasing enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, but differ globally in their fears about the future of work. In fact, it noted that many younger professionals are ”falling out of love with the idea of working for a Fortune 500 firm,” and across generations, no more than 9 percent wanted to work for government.

Future of work apprehensions included getting waylaid by a job with no development opportunities, worry that a job won’t match their personality and values, and that the future holds job insecurity. To address some of these fears, companies can apply agile project management principles and incorporate “intrapraneurship,” giving employees the ability to work on start-up projects within the firm.    

Related: Mobility Leaders: We Need to be Faster for the Future

One big way to offer career value and development: mobility assignments. Companies and younger professionals alike recognize the value of assignments to their careers. In Worldwide ERC®’s recently published “Perfect Storm” report, Laura Rodriguez of Johnson & Johnson noted:

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AUG
28
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Mexico: The Emerging Hub for Global Business in Latin America

“Mexico’s strong economic performance, particularly in the manufacturing and energy sectors, is generating increasing global assignment volume into the country. New technology and change are coming fast. The development of Mexico’s economy is by far the best in Latin America. As one of the more important emerging markets in the world, Mexico is expected to be a main recipient of foreign investment in the next two to three years.” Dwellworks’ VP, Latin America, Jack Fraind, shared these insights in a Mexico Destination Profile in Mobility magazine in 2016.

Today, there’s plenty of evidence to support those expectations, in spite of some of the unanticipated geopolitical and global economic events that have unfolded since. Thanks to government investment in infrastructure and continued efforts to bolster competition in the telecommunications, energy and transportation industries, Mexico is currently ranked as the 15th  largest world economy in GDP, and 11th in terms of its purchasing power.

It’s capital, Mexico City, offers an easy-going, family-friendly culture that has helped it become one of the top-ranked hubs for start-up businesses and global enterprises seeking a Latin America presence. With 22 million residents in Mexico City and its surrounding metropolitan area and its own bustling economy that rivals the world’s largest business epicenters, the region is ripe for continued global business expansion.  

But it’s not without some challenges for mobility professionals placing talent there. Mexico’s recent elections and U.S. leaders’ bold immigration initiatives are changing the immigration reality between the two countries. A lack of understanding of these complex and evolving immigration policies can mean the potential for costly compliance blunders for mobility teams and their companies.

On the issue of trade, Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner, and also comes in third as a source of U.S. imports, after China and Canada. The U.S. is currently Mexico’s largest trading partner, and its biggest source of foreign direct investment. The future state of trade and investment remains uncertain, however, as negotiations are currently underway on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), in which Mexico is a participant, is forging ahead without the U.S. signing on. As negotiations on immigration and trade continue, and a new political party gears up to assume office later this year, the global talent mobility and broader labor relations landscapes will continue to be further defined.

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AUG
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U.S. Treasury Proposes Halting Workarounds of Deduction Limits

In proposed regulations issued 23 August 2018, the U.S. Treasury says that deductions for charitable contributions will be reduced by any state or local tax credit granted in return for the contributions.
 

The position is explained in News Release IR-2018-172. Treasury and IRS had previously announced their intent to address the issue in a Notice issued 23 May 2018.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) limits individual itemized deductions for all state taxes (income, property, sales) to $10,000, beginning in 2018. Under prior law, such deductions were unlimited. The new limitations adversely affect taxpayers in high tax states. A number of such states have reacted by considering or enacting provisions that would effectively convert the taxes to forms of levies that remain fully deductible.

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have done so, and legislation has been introduced in California, Rhode Island and Illinois.  

The primary focus of workaround legislation has been to create state or local charitable entities to which individual taxpayers may contribute. Taxpayers get an income or property tax credit for the contributions. The states maintain that the contributions are fully deductible for federal income tax purposes as charitable contributions. New Jersey’s new law includes the charitable contribution workaround strategy, as do both New York and Connecticut. The effect is to create a full deduction for the taxes by converting them to charitable contributions.

Related: 4 States Sue U.S. Federal Government Over State & Local Tax Deduction Limit

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AUG
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GDPR Impact: 3 Months After Enforcement Date

Three months ago, the European Union (EU) began enforcing compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Since then, there has been little enforcement activity at the same time as many companies still come into compliance with GDPR. The new regulation, however, has already shifted the global focus on data protection to a new phase and spurred other governments to act on data privacy laws.

GDPR covers data protection and privacy standards for EU residents. Companies that transfer, process or maintain the data of EU residents must adhere to the new standards regardless of where the company comes into contact with the data. The GDPR replaces the old EU Data Protection Directive which had been the foundation of data privacy laws of EU member states since 1995.

In the few months since the GDPR has been enforced, complaints over violations have already been filed against several large tech companies including Google and Facebook. Companies are changing their policies on data privacy for not only EU users but all customers with a flurry of emails regarding new policies to users. Multiple companies and news organizations require EU users and sometimes non-EU users to accept privacy terms in line with GDPR to access content on the site. Finally, several other governments have moved on their own data privacy regulations.

Related: European Labour Authority to be Established by Year’s End

On 28 June, California was the first U.S. state to adopt comprehensive rules on the rights of consumers regarding control of their personal information. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) provides consumers in California with five general rights pertaining to the privacy of their personal information. Starting in 2020, Californians will have the ability to determine what information of theirs is being collected, what information is being sold or revealed to third parties, access their information, prevent the sale of their data and control their data without repercussions. The new rules take effect on 1 January 2020.

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U.S. Senate Panel Approves CFPB and Ex-Im Bank Nominees

On 23 August, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs voted to advance the nominations of Kathleen Kraninger and Kimberly Reed.

The Committee voted unanimously in support of the nomination of Reed to be President of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. In the case of Kraninger to be the Director of the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau (CFPB), the Committee voted 13-12 along party lines in favor.

All Committee Democrats were opposed to advancing the nomination of Kraninger stating she did not have the necessary financial policy background. She also faced concerns with her assumed involvement in her role at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with the zero-tolerance immigration policy of the Administration as well as the disaster relief response to Puerto Rico.

In her confirmation hearing, Kraninger pledged to establish four initial priorities for CFPB if confirmed. She stated she would ensure fairness of the Bureau, work closely with other financial regulators and states on supervision and enforcement, protect sensitive data and remain accountable to the American people. If approved by the full Senate, Kraninger would replace acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney who is also Director of OMB.

Related: Mulvaney Continues to Shape U.S. CFPB

The relocation of a transferee often involves the sale and/or purchase of a home and thus the policies and practices involving real estate directly impact Worldwide ERC® members. The CFPB Director has enormous powers with little oversight from Congress and thus the policy positions of a specific individual as director determines the direction of the Bureau. Under OMB Director Mulvaney, the CFPB has taken the position to enforce consumer protection laws but to not “push the envelope”. Kraninger would likely maintain that philosophy.

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AUG
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Anja Manuel to Close Out 2018 Symposium

International markets expert and critically acclaimed author Anja Manuel will share global mobility insights as the closing speaker for the 2018 Global Workforce Symposium.

As participants in the 2018 Global Workforce Symposium explore opportunities for global growth and what it means for the future of work and mobility, Worldwide ERC® is proud to announce that renowned emerging markets and international leadership expert Anja Manuel will serve as closing speaker.

A former U.S. State Department official, experienced expat and author of This Brave New World: India, China, and the United States, Anja will draw from her unique,high-level insights on today’s key business trends, emerging markets, and the geopolitical forces that shape them. She is a founding partner and principal of RiceHadleyGates, LLC, working with Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley, and Robert Gates to advise senior executives from Fortune 500 companies as they evaluate global expansion.

She frequently comments on foreign policy, technology trends, and the future of work for TV, radio, and publications around the world, and is a lecturer at Stanford University.

“As organizations evaluate new markets, mobility professionals are tasked with designing and executing competitive policies for hiring locals, recruiting global talent, and sourcing contract- or project-based teams. A company’s mobility program is an integral part of its workforce strategy, from acquisition to leadership development. I look forward to hearing Anja Manuel share her considerable knowledge and perspectives on market opportunities, risks, and the current state of world affairs.”
–Ed Hannibal, GMS, Tax Principal, Deloitte Tax, LLP and 2018 Worldwide ERC® Vice Chair - Finance

Related: Mobility: It’s Your ‘Exotic Specialty!’

Don’t miss this great opportunity to discuss international trends in the global mobility industry with a recognized expert. Anja’s closing speech is set to take place 19 October 2018 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.

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AUG
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U.S. Senate Passes Provisions on Crumbling House Foundations

The United States Senate has recently passedtwo provisions regarding the issue of certain home foundations, primarily inNorthern Connecticut, being susceptible to crumbling.

The Worldwide ERC® Real Estate andMortgage Forum has been following the issue to ensure members are aware of theproblem before taking a potentially affected home into inventory or beingconsidered for purchase by a transferee.

On 1 August, the Senate passed by 92to 6 the FY2019 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related AgenciesAppropriations Bill (H.R. 6147) which included language of the FY2019 FinancialServices and General Government Services (FSGGS) Appropriations Bill. The firstprovision related to crumbling foundations falls under the FSGGS section ofH.R. 6147. The language would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO)to conduct a study to examine the financial impact of pyrrhotite in concrete foundationsand provide recommendations on regulatory and legislative actions to helpmitigate the financial impact of such foundations on homeowners and otheraffected parties.

The second provision relates to theInterior and Environment portion of the bill under the United States GeologicalSurvey and provides $100,000 in funding for the development of a map depictingpyrrhotite occurrences in the United States. There are hundreds and perhapsthousands of home foundations which have an excessive amount of pyrrhotite,which is the root cause of the crumbling. The Connecticut counties mostaffected are Hartford, Tolland and Windham. These circumstances are creatingunsafe and, in some cases, uninhabitable dwellings.

The houses in question all haveconcrete provided by one concrete vendor and material obtained from aWillington, Connecticut quarry. The time period of the affected homes is hardto definitively identify but appears to run from the very early 1980s to wellinto the 2000s. Of course, relocation professionals should also keep in mindthat additions, garages or other repairs may have been made to homes outside ofthis time period with the concrete in question.

This specific concrete mixture hashigh levels of pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide mineral that can react with oxygenand water to cause swelling and cracking. The concrete vendor deniesresponsibility, asserting that the problems arise from improper installation. Tofurther complicate matters, records where the concrete mixture was used weredestroyed in a fire a number of years ago.

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AUG
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India Employer Social Security Payments Not Taxable Income to Employee

In a recent case, the High Court of Delhi, India addressed the issue of whether contributions made by a foreign employer of workers in India to foreign social security, medical, and pension benefits are taxable income to the employee.

In the case of Yoshio Kubo v. Commissioner of Income Tax, the Tax Commissioner contended that such payments were taxable perquisites under Section 17(1) of the India tax law. They were for the benefit of the employee, and vested in the employee. The employer contended that the payments did not confer an immediate vested benefit because any benefit would only accrue at the time any benefits were withdrawn.

This is not an issue in many countries to which foreign employees are assigned because the United States and those countries have entered into so-called “totalization agreements” under which U.S. Social Security Taxes are not necessary if the company is paying such taxes under the other country’s welfare system. However, the United States and India do not have a totalization agreement.

Related: Innovation Top of Mind for India’s Business Community

In the India case, lower courts agreed with the employer, and the case moved to the Delhi High Court on appeal. That court strongly endorsed the employer’s position that the employees had no immediate right to the benefits, which were held as investments until the employees satisfied conditions (such as age) necessary for access to them. The court also rejected an argument by the Tax Commission that the law had changed when the India tax laws were revised in 1961.

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AUG
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Russia to Increase Value Added Tax Rate

Aug 22 2018

Published in: Public Policy

| Updated Apr 27 2023

A new law approved by the Russian Parliament and the Federation Council will increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate in Russia from 18% to 20% beginning in 2019.

Signed into effect by President Putin on 3 August, the law’s new 20% rate applies to goods, works, and services, as well as property rights sold or transferred. Therefore, it will apply to services provided by relocation businesses in Russia, and to property transactions undertaken by foreign workers in Russia.

There is a reduced rate of 10% applicable to some categories such as food and domestic air transportation. There is also a zero rate applicable to domestic air transportation services, passengers, and luggage if the point of departure or destination is in the Far Eastern Federal District.

In addition, sale of a company will be subject to a VAT rate of 16.67%, up from 15.25%.

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AUG
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Mobility Leaders: We Need to be Faster for the Future

It’s imperative to think, plan, act and implement more quickly. This theme clearly emerged in interviews with mobility thought leaders across the globe.

Here’s 10 insightful illustrations of this imperative at work – and you can learn more about the future of mobility in Worldwide ERC®’s recent report, The Perfect Storm: Talent Mobility Leaders Decode the Future.

Ed Hannibal GMS, Principal/Partner at Deloitte Tax LLP, sees that employees are being asked to complete roles more quickly in this world of extended and frequent business travel. This makes employee readiness an issue “because it’s a completely different ask of your employees to travel for business to essentially complete roles that may be consolidated down from a three-year assignment.”

He also points out that there is a potential for family strain that must be considered in this speedier environment.

Robert Sanford CRP, GMS-T, Director of Outbound Immigration and Global Mobility at New York University, sees that it may be more effective to provide faster and more compact information to the younger generation. The traditional mode of the service provider delivering comprehensive details at the front end of an assignment may be better served by “chunking up” information so employees can reference it as needed. Otherwise, it’s an overload of information at one time.

Greg Morley, VP of HR Asia Pacific for Hasbro, observes that skill shortages in emerging markets are putting pressure on mobility as “the company’s expectation of ramp-up time in markets, going from nothing to fully operational, is so much shorter.”

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AUG
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Blockchain and Real Estate Conveyancing

Paperwork: It’s so yesterday, right? Not when it comes to buying and selling property, where there are still plenty of layers of it. Documents that require searches, verifications, stamps, recordings, signatures and multiple, often disjointed processes that seem to take an awful lot of time and feel shrouded in mystery to those outside of the industry.

In spite of the rapid advancements and transparency that high tech has brought to so many other types of transactions, the overall real estate conveyancing process has lagged behind. The reasons for that are debatable, but one thing is crystal clear: It’s an area ripe for a high-tech transformation, and you don’t have to look very far to see it coming.

Real estate research and marketing agency Re:Tech reports that global venture capital investment in the real estate technology sector grew to roughly $12.6 billion in 2017, following a moderate $4.2 billion in the prior year. Real estate startups using non-traditional currencies and all-digital transactions are on the rise.

“There is one form of technology that will have greater impact on the world economy than self-driving cars, solar energy, or even artificial intelligence. Blockchain is that technology.”
–Don and Alex Tapscott in Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Is Changing the World

Blockchain technology could very well be one of, if not the biggest driver of digital change in real estate. In fact, it arguably already is, when you consider the successful eight-month pilot program between the Cook County Recorder of Deeds (CCRD), velox.RE and other partners to explore its use in land and deed recording in the state of Illinois. Or South Burlington, Vermont’s first successful all-blockchain-based real estate transaction conducted earlier this year, in partnership with startup Propy Inc.

But What Exactly IS Blockchain?

In order to see the potential implications to the industry, it’s important to understand what it is – and isn’t. In the simplest of terms, it’s a digital ledger that records groups or blocks of transactions, encrypts them, and connects them in an endless, unalterable chain. It came to fame as the platform on which the cryptocurrency bitcoin was exchanged, and it’s also the backbone of the open-source, public operating system, Ethereum, which allows for the building and deploying of a variety of decentralized applications.

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Special Education Needs 2018

Thisarticle originally appeared in the August 2018 edition of Mobility Magazine.

A Snapshot for Mobility Experts.

The diagnosis of children withspecial education needs (SEN), including autism, attention deficit disorder,and dyslexia, is on the rise. This is placing a high demand on specializedprograms and support within state and private schools worldwide and is alsoprompting the opening of new schools that cater to children with atypicallearning profiles. 

The Hidden Challenges 

For families on the move, thechanging educational landscape is increasingly difficult to navigate, let alonemaster. The fact that there is no worldwide consensus on the definition of a“learning disability” creates even more complexity and confusion for bothfamilies and companies.

Some countries and culturesunderstand the phrase as a disorder that is characterized by at least averageintelligence, with developmental delays in specific areas (e.g., reading,spelling, or math), while others equate “learning disabilities” with what iscommonly known as mild mental retardation. In some countries, learning disabilitiesmust be diagnosed by specially trained educational psychologists, while inothers, teachers or speech therapists are making the diagnoses. Thesedifferences in definition and diagnosis, in turn, impact the types of supportprograms that are available in the various schools.

Different linguistic, diagnostic,and cultural layers make navigating the world of special education increasinglycomplicated for everyone involved. 

What’s Happening at the Family Level

Parents have already investedsignificant effort and time in securing the support their children need intheir home countries, and therefore they are often—understandably—reluctant tomove. When a family of a child with special needs learns of a possiblerelocation, the rug literally is pulled out from under them. Even when theservices might be more advanced in the new location, parents need to learn anentirely different educational system, understand the cultural challenges, andrethink best practices for their child’s education.

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4 Tips for Cutting the Travel Visa Hassle

This article originally appeared in the August 2018 edition of Mobility Magazine.

According to the latest data from the U.K. Office for National Statistics, U.K. employees made 9.2 million business trips in 2016, up from around 6 million in 1996.

What’s more, this trend is set to increase: A joint report by Travelport and the World Travel and Tourism Council predicts the global business travel sector will grow by almost 4 percent over the next decade.

While business with the European Union currently makes up around 40 percent of the U.K.’s overseas trade, the uncertainty about what trade deal—if any—will be reached with the EU post-Brexit means many companies are already exploring fresh business opportunities in new and emerging economies.

HR teams currently don’t have to worry about securing visas for most trips made by their company staff, as U.K. travelers do not need a visa for travel within the EU—or to the U.K.’s other major trading partner, the U.S. But that will change, as increasing business in new markets may require familiarity with a complex set of new visa requirements.

Related: Is Your Employee Global Transportation Policy Strategic?

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