Want to move to a new state but keep your job?

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Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an influx of people wanting to leave more expensive cities to be closer to their families or places where the cost of living is cheaper – but not all employers are able to respond to these requests. When business leaders say no to employee relocation requests, they are not unreasonable; many just can’t keep an employee where they chose to relocate, or they don’t think that person’s role is really long-term remote work – even if they’ve done so to distance in the last 18 months. If you are planning to relocate, it is important both to align with your company policies and to review your personal situation. The author presents five specific areas to consider before taking action.

My career coaching client, we’ll call him Steve, and his wife had wanted to leave New York for years, recognizing it was not financially viable for them. When Covid hit, they finally moved to Austin, Texas. “We chose Austin because [my wife] has family here, my business has an office here and we wanted to move to a state with no income / capital gains tax, ”Steve told me.

Steve is a project manager and has done his remote job successfully during Covid. He said the most important thing he did before committing to the move to Texas was to ask his employer for permission first. “We have employees who have moved to Hawaii or another state without permission, and that has put the company and the employee in a very awkward position. Some told the company after they moved and then the company said they wouldn’t allow them to work there, so they had to quit or were fired.

As an HR manager, I have seen an influx of people wanting to leave more expensive cities to be closer to their families or places where the cost of living is cheaper. I myself moved from Los Gatos, California, one of the most expensive places in the country, to Scottsdale, Arizona during the pandemic. I was candid with my business leadership about my need to act early on and was prepared to accept any potential consequences.

When business leaders say no to employee relocation requests, they are not unreasonable; many simply cannot keep an employee where they chose to relocate, or they don’t think that person’s role is truly long-term remote work – even if they have done so to distance in the last 18 months. If you are planning to relocate, it is important both to align with your company policies and to review your personal situation. Consider these five specific areas before you take action.

Business risk

Every company has a philosophy of where to do business and the tax obligations it is prepared to incur. If a company is not registered to do business in a particular state, having an employee working in that state may result in additional tax liability that conflicts with the organization’s business philosophy. Additionally, even if a company is registered to do business in that state, it may not be registered to pay compensation to employees there.

Even temporary work in a state can result in a tax liability for a business. International moves bring additional complexities such as visas and potential work permits for employees and international income and sales taxes for the business, which executives may not be willing to support.

Your risk

When you move permanently to a new state, it’s no surprise that you have to pay income taxes there. But what if you decide to relocate, work remotely most of the time, and return to the office as needed? In most states, non-resident income taxes come into effect after a certain period of time. For example, if you move or travel to New York for more than 184 days, you are subject to income tax. In California, it’s 45 days. Some states have a first-day rule, which means that if you work there for even a day, you owe state income tax. So working remotely from your new home and returning to your old office could put you at risk of tax liability in both states. At the very least, you’ll need to file your income taxes in both places, and if you hire an accountant to do so, there may be an additional cost to prepare your taxes for multiple states.

Wage differential

Companies pay their employees based on the cost of labor – that’s not Cost of life. If you live in San Francisco, the cost of labor is higher than if you live in, say, Tallahassee, Florida. Therefore, an employee working in San Francisco will be paid more for doing the exact same job as an employee in Tallahassee. If you choose to move to a city with a less expensive job market, your pay may drop depending on your company’s compensation philosophy. It is important to check with your manager or HR representative to see if this decrease would be implemented, because if you plan to save money in the new location, the move may not actually change your cost of living. global.

Role definition

Your business hired you to meet a specific need to support or grow the business. If this role was on-site before the pandemic, there might be specific tasks that need to be done on-site after the business returns to the office, such as working with specialized equipment that you cannot take home or collect. physical signatures from multiple sources. Your work may also include cross-functional collaboration on some projects or an in-person presentation to senior management. So ask yourself, “Have I been able to work remotely and perform all aspect of my job that I was able to do before Covid? If you can do most of the work, then you have adjusted to the demands of working from home related to Covid and have been as successful as possible. However, this may not mean that the job is truly remote or would be acceptable as a remote position in the long run. If you cannot complete all the tasks or fully support the business, you are asking your company to reduce the scope of your role or change roles altogether, which could also lead to a change in salary.

Career path

As the old saying goes: “Out of sight, out of mind”. An unconscious affinity bias occurs when people gravitate towards other people who are like them. Managers who are in the office may feel more connected to employees who are in the office and may be inclined to give them larger projects or more interesting tasks. Additionally, this unconscious bias could lead to more promotion opportunities or other rewards for current employees, which could impact your career ambitions. One way to combat affinity biases if you continue to work remotely full time is to make an effort to stay at the forefront of your manager and leadership. Think about how often you have points of contact with them, or consider moving to a city where your business has another office so that you can be visible.

Finally, it is important to remember that your role is in the service of your business. It was created to – and you were hired to – support and grow the business. So, determine if your company has already established post-Covid remote work policies or if full-time remote status could be affected by future policies determined. What if your boss accepts that you work remotely now, but your role takes over another part of the business that expects you to be on-site regularly? It is essential to look at your work through the lens of your role in supporting the business. It’s never personal. It’s just business.


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