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Live with Marisa Johnson, GM Manager at Robert Half




Show Notes

This week we welcomed Marisa Johnson, Global Mobility Programs Manager at Robert Half, to the show. Marisa has a Six Sigma Green Belt and has extensive experience in immigration and mobility managing mobility programs, expertise in immigration law, and having created corporate immigration programs in-house.

Marisa did not start her career in Mobility in a way most have. Her original aspirations were in Criminology and she wanted to be an FBI Agent which she attributes to her love of crime shows and the psychology around solving crimes. Her career actually began after college with the government working for the USCIS as an adjudicator with after attending University of California at Irvine, she fell in love with immigration. Though she enjoyed her time in immigration with USCIS, she felt it was fairly impersonal as people were being dealt with as state on a paper application and there wasn’t much emotion or humanity involved.

After her time with USCIS and her background with immigration, she made her way to Mobility. Marisa ended up working for a little company called Tesla and was tasked with creating an in-house immigration program. Marisa then created and ran the program during a time of exponential growth. Her time at Tesla showed her that she really cared about people and their stories. It all became personal to her. While at Tesla, she desired to have more of a manageable work life balance and decided to move on to Robert Half.

Marisa is a one-woman team at Robert Half. As she calls it, the “me, myself and I”, team. The culture and work life balance brought her to Robert Half, and she predicts she will retire from Robert Half. With the company she has developed a white-glove, flexible concierge style mobility program that offers meaningful support to the team. The program itself is so flexible that they in don’t have traditional policies and refer to it more so as guidelines that are based on the uniqueness of each transferee and their personalized needs.

To learn more about Marisa, the Mobility program at Robert Half, and see the entire delightful conversation with her, Pat and Julia, watch the full video of the show.

Immigration Update

By Julia Onslow-Cole at Fragomen

  1. We are seeing many employers move their intra company transferees to the new skilled worker visa which allows them a pathway to permanent residence in the UK
  2. The UK Government announced a new Graduate Visa for those that have studied in the UK.
  3. New changes to the Global Talent Visa will streamline the process

Tax Update

By Pat Jurgens, Director, Global Tax Research and Consulting at AIRINC

United Kingdom tax developments

    • On March 3rd, the Finance Minister Rishi Sunak presented the UK Spring Budget.  Fortunately for global mobility, there are no major individual income tax developments. 
    • The biggest tax change is the corporate tax rate for companies with taxable profits over GBP 250,000 - increasing from 19% to 25% to help with public finances.  This corporate tax increase is scheduled to be implemented April 6, 2023.
    • For the upcoming tax year beginning April 6, 2021 – For individual taxpayers, there are small inflation adjustments to the tax brackets, personal allowance, and the national insurance thresholds. The tax rates are unchanged with a top rate of 45% and NIC at 12% and 2%. Notably, these thresholds will then be frozen for the next 5 years.  Effectively, this is potentially a small tax increase over that 5-year period assuming the erosion of income due to inflation.
    • And in related news, an update on social security and Brexit.  All 27 EU countries have now ‘opted-in’ to the “Detached Worker” provisions of the new social security protocol.  Individuals posted between UK and EU for up to 24 months (maximum term) will still be able to obtain an A1 Certificate allowing continued coverage in their home country social security scheme.  Applies to both employee and employer contributions.  NON-EU countries are excluded from the new rules – Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
United States – ‘American Rescue Plan’ tax changes
    • Today March 10th, the House is scheduled to vote on the Senate version of the American Rescue Plan.  There are many provisions, including COVID vaccine funding, funding for state and local governments, rental and housing assistance.  
    • Key takeaways – Parents and especially parents of young children at lower incomes will benefit the most from the Rescue Plan.  Also, the plan relies on the tax system and the IRS to distribute the money. 
    • Has implications for global mobility programs, and how to handle these payments from a tax policy perspective – some inbound assignees will get payments they aren’t entitled to.  Should you collect them from the employee?  Outbound assignees may not get the correct amounts due to assignment-related income.  Consider an effective communications program to your assignees on what your plans are these IRS payments.
    • The headline tax development in the bill is the third Stimulus payments to qualifying individuals:
    • These are set at $1,400 per person, $2,800 for a couple, plus $1,400 per qualifying dependent.  To qualify, each individual must have an Social Security Number.
    • This will be the third stimulus payment – the first two occurred in 2020 and are reported on the 2020 tax return. The third will be reported on the 2021 tax return.
    • The threshold for qualifying for the payment has been reduced.  There will be some individuals that received stimulus payments in 2020 that will not qualify for the third.  Income thresholds are:
      • SINGLE: Threshold was $100,000 and is now down to $75,000 and fully phased out at $80,000.
      • JOINT: Threshold was $200,000 down to $150,000 and fully phased out at $160,000. 
    • Qualifying individuals must have a Social Security Number to qualify for the stimulus payment.  Older children (dependent college students) and older dependent relatives now also qualify.
    • The IRS will use the most recent tax return submitted to determine how much the stimulus check will be – Tax year 2019 or 2020 depending on how quickly the taxpayer has filed returns.
    • It is expected the checks will go out probably late March or early April.
    • Stimulus payments are not taxable income but will need to be reported on the 2021 tax return. If the individual did not receive a payment or the payment was too small, the difference can be claimed as a credit on the return.
    • Child Tax Credits (CTC) have been expanded, with more dependents now qualifying.  Increased from 2,000 to $3,000 per child, or $3,600 for children under age 6.  The age limit for qualifying children also increased from age 16 to age 17.  Children with ITINs now qualify, which may impact certain inbound assignees to the U.S.
    • Plus, the CTC for 2021 is now a refundable credit and eligible for ‘advance’ payments, so taxpayers will receive the benefit even if they owe no income tax and can get 50% of the benefit ‘advanced’ over a six-month period beginning July and the remaining half claimed on the 2021 tax return. The IRS will be responsible for implementing a CTC advance payment system by July.  Effectively, the CTC now is very similar to many European family allowances/child benefits – a direct government cash payment based on family size. The CTC for 2021 is phased out over two tiers: larger credits targeted for lower incomes which are phased out first, and then the $2,000 credits for higher incomes which are subject to a second phase out.  For married taxpayers, the second threshold begins at $400,000.  The expanded CTC only applies to 2021. Democrats are hoping to make them permanent.  CTC provisions are targeting to lift 45% of children out of poverty.
    • CTC is not to be confused with the Child Care Tax Credit – for qualifying childcare expenses.  This Child Care Tax Credit too has been expanded substantially for 2021. 
    • Enhanced federal unemployment benefits have also been extended to September 6th at $300 per week.  And a second change, for taxpayers with incomes below $150,000 the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 are non-taxable – this provision is retroactively effective only to the 2020 tax year and not for 2021. So, if you were unfortunate enough to qualify for unemployment benefits last year, you may want to consider amending your 2020 tax return if you already filed.
    • Finally, the House again yesterday asked the IRS to extend the tax deadline for individuals beyond April 15th.