On Wednesday January 13th 2021 The View From The Top Live with Brian Friedman welcomed Rina Montalvo, Global Mobility Director at News Corp along with Julia Onslow-Cole at Fragomen and Pat Jurgens at AIRINC.
Show NotesRina Montalvo is one of the most thoughtful and strategic Global Mobility directors in the world. A dual US/German citizen, Rina is fluent in 4 languages and has worked in both the USA and Europe. Rina is Director, Global Mobility at Newscorp - the owner of such well-known media outlets as Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, The Times (UK), The New York Post, Harper Collins, The Australian and so much more. Rina is a passionate advocate of Global Mobility. She is an Assistant Professor at NYU and guest lecturer at Harvard, Yale, Cornell and Stanford. Her interview covered:
* Rina's career path, learnings and experience
* Being strategic - How Rina walks the walk at Newscorp
* Teaching Global Mobility and The Ivy League
* Building a GM team in 2021 and beyond
* Vendor selection and partnership management.
The Immigration Update
by Julia Onslow-Cole at Fragomen
- There is a lot of development that is underway on Digital Passports that take into account vaccination records and COVID testing and will assist mobility.
- There are a number of “ hotspot” areas in China which require additional checks to enter and exit and this is affecting mobility across China. Some quarantine requirements have been increased and the Government has suspended visa invitation letters with some exceptions.
- In Singapore the resident labour requirements under the Fair Consideration Framework are being strictly enforced .
- The Travel Ban in Europe applies to UK citizens who must show a business exemption to be able to travel.
- The new system in the UK post Brexit is working well although clarification is needed on the resident labour market test.
The Tax Update
by Pat Jurgens, Director, Global Tax Research and Consulting at AIRINC
About the protocol on social security coordination post-Brexit:
- The Trade Deal between the EU and UK entered into force as of January 1, 2021. This still requires ratifications in the UK, each EU country, and the EU Parliament.
- Trade deal includes certain provisions regarding social security contributions and benefits called the Protocol on Social Security Coordination. All new cross-border assignments initiated after 1/1/2021 are covered by the new Protocol. Prior assignments are covered by the earlier Withdrawal agreement – Some qualifying employees can be grandfathered under the old EU Reg 883/2004 holding a valid A1 certificate, but only if the working pattern does not change. It may also be possible to extend A1’s if the working pattern is unchanged.
- In principle, the Protocol provides for coordination of social security for mobile employees who are on temporary assignments. Schemes that are covered: old-age pension, access to healthcare, unemployment, and work accidents. Schemes not covered: family allowances, long-term care, and other cash benefit programs. Bottom-Line: benefits are less comprehensive than under the prior EU regulations.
- Similar to bilateral totalization agreements, aggregation of periods by covered workers that worked in one country will generally be considered by the other country in determining the overall benefit entitlement. Similarly, overlapping benefits shall not be permitted.
General rule: social security contributions are due in the country where the work is performed.
- Not included in new Protocol are four non-EU countries - Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. Norway and Switzerland have negotiated separate bilateral coordination agreements. Liechtenstein does not have any agreement so there is a potential for double coverage for any cross-border arrangement between UK and Liechtenstein.
- Detached workers: employees sent to work in another country shall continue to be covered in the home country. Need to obtain a Certificate of Coverage. Applies only if EU country has not ‘Opted Out’ of the detached worker rules. Need to check if EU country has opted out. That ratification process will occur during the next few months. The official deadline is January 31st for each country to adopt the detached worker article. For detached workers, the work must not exceed 24 months – this cannot be extended beyond 24 months. The employer must be established in the home country, performing ‘substantial’ activities in the home country.
- Multi-state workers: Those employees working 25% or more in their country of residence and therefore are covered in the home country. If employee doesn’t meet 25% threshold, then the country where the employer is located applies.
- Implications for remote workers and commuters – whether ‘detached’ or ‘multi-state’ will be based on whether it is temporary or more permanent.There is a lot of development that is underway on Digital Passports that take into account vaccination records and COVID testing and will assist mobility.
About Tax Reporting of Crypto-currency
- Change in Foreign Bank Account Reporting requirements? Many U.S. expatriates have complained for years about the FBAR reporting requirements, but now there is a new development.
- Forbes Magazine is now reporting that the U.S. authority responsible for Foreign Bank Reporting, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is planning to amend the requirements of FBAR disclosures to include foreign accounts that hold ‘virtual currency’ like Bitcoin.
- If amended, foreign financial accounts that hold crypto-currency would potentially meet the definition of a ‘foreign account’ requiring disclosure. US-based financial accounts holding cryptocurrency are already subject to other tax reporting requirements. The change in FBAR reporting is not likely applicable or the 2021 tax season, but maybe next year.
- New for the 2020 tax year, the IRS will ask on page 1 of the individual return form the following question: “ At any time during 2020, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency? Yes No “ Taxpayers must answer this question truthfully under penalty of perjury.
- What is cryptocurrency for U.S. tax purposes? Considered to be a capital asset or investment. Because the value fluctuates, there is a taxable gain or loss potentially reportable based on the difference in value from purchase and sell dates. The value of Bitcoin has soared to over $33,000 per Bitcoin as of 1/12/2021, increasing about 400% in value over the last year.