Who Makes the Rules? 

Corporate Relocation is a tight knit industry that is known by few people and understood by even less. The industry itself is made up of national and local councils, service providers and corporate professionals, the combination of which influence and shape relocation programs.  But when it comes right down to it there are only two entities that decide what your relocation benefits will be; your company and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Your Company

Your company will have a professional in charge of relocation through either the Human Resources or the Finance department. In larger companies there is most likely a dedicated Relocation Manager that will run policy, make decisions, procure services and sometimes counsel employees. A dedicated and knowledgeable Relocation Manager will apply a consistent and fair program for all relocating employees.

The Internal Revenue Service

Internal Revenue Service tax code is the basis on which the relocation industry is built. Although there are no people that will counsel you from the IRS, your relocation program is centered on tax code, publication 521. All of your benefits will be based on these rulings, following strict guidelines and making use of some beneficial loopholes.

The IRS policy defines the tax implications of relocation for both you and your company regarding home finding trips, temporary housing, selling and buying a home, how long you have to complete your relocation, and more.

Exceptions to Policy

If you need to move and your company (or prospective employer) is not offering relocation benefits or the benefits are not robust enough, negotiate. Negotiations for benefits are common and are met with varying degrees of success, just as you would negotiate a new salary or vacation time.

If the company is willing to negotiate your odds of success will increase by working through your prospective boss or department, not the relocation manager. The exception process will cycle as follows:

  • Your new boss: this person will be your advocate depending on how much he or she needs you in the position.
  • Human Resources: the hiring group will walk a fine line, trying to accommodate the needs of the business while maintaining fairness amongst all employees
  • The Relocation Manager: the program manager is most concerned with upholding the integrity of the relocation program and providing authoritative counsel to all parties involved.

If you don’t ask for something, you won’t get it. The only word of caution here is ‘know your place.’ Your particular job level or employment circumstance may not warrant special treatment, and sometimes the ‘squeaky wheel’ does not get oiled.

Avoid being excluded from certain policy benefits by first speaking with your Relocation Counselor...

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