Category Archives: Hot Topics

More Transferees Are Asking, “What Happened to My Tax Refund?”

Every year mobility departments field this question. This year, however, a larger number of transferees are reaching out to their employers as they compare their 2018 filings with previous ones.

They’re wondering why their tax refund wasn’t larger or, worse yet, why they owe money.

The assumed cause? Their relocation expenses were not grossed up sufficiently.

While this may be true in some cases, it is more likely that tax reform played a significant role. In fact, as the filing season came to an end, the IRS announced that the average refund was down by roughly 2%.

When tax reform was implemented, many people experienced:

  • Small increases in take-home pay
  • Smaller withholding amounts deducted from pay
  • W-4s that were not updated to reflect all tax changes

These factors affected the tax situations of many, not just relocating employees. Transferees should also consider the following, which may not be linked to relocation:

  • Capital gains on the sale of investments
  • Changes in spousal income (if filing jointly)
  • Changes in deductions
  • Under withholding on regular income

If none of the above information explains a transferee’s tax situation, the employer may conduct a gross-up audit to determine if additional money is owed to the employee.

Regardless, it’s important to educate all employees about tax reform and what factors determine the type of refund – or tax bill – a staff member receives. For all employees, the IRS recommends using its online tax withholding estimator for a “paycheck checkup.” This tool will help ensure the right amount of tax is withheld.

By providing employees with accurate information and tools, you can stave off questions and – most importantly – help staff members avoid tax-related surprises.

Source: Orion Mobility

Top Reasons IT Professionals Relocate

Thinking about putting down roots in a new city? If you’re a tech pro, then you’re not alone.

Tech on the Move, a new study from CompTIA, found that 78% of tech workers would consider leaving their current city for a new job, citing affordability (60%) and local economy (56%) as major factors driving the decision.

With more than 260,000 new IT jobs opening in the United States last year alone, it’s no secret that tech talent is in high demand. But have you thought about where an IT salary goes the furthest? Or what matters most to you when it comes to making decisions about where to live and work?

As housing costs continue to rise in pricey coastal hubs, the study found more tech pros are considering jobs in areas where cost of living is lower, the climate is desirable and traffic is less of a headache. 

Tech pros ranked three factors as most important when choosing where to live:

  • Cost of living (82%)
  • Weather and climate (64%)
  • Commute times (62%)

When it comes to choosing an IT job, they ranked job security (73%) and income/salary (69%) as most important.  

Does Making an Impact Matter to You?

The study also provides insight into what the youngest tech workers look for in a career – and the answer isn’t just higher salaries.

As Gen Z enters the workforce – and has a strong interest in IT jobs – they place more value on the societal impact of their work and less importance on high salaries than Millennial tech workers, according to the study.

  Millennials Gen Z
Having a Meaningful Career and Helping Others Is
Very Important
38% 48%
Income Is Very Important 74% 60%

While career aspirations differ, both Gen Z and Millennial IT pros say cost of living is the most important factor when choosing where to live and work. Gen Z workers also cited affordable housing and proximity to restaurants and bars as top three factors, while Millennials cited commute times and climate. 

Location, Location, Location… and Salary

As the tech industry seeks to expand the universe of those who see a career for themselves in IT – including encouraging more women to pursue careers in tech – the study revealed differences between men and women tech workers when it comes to importance of location and income.

  • Location: 55% of women tech pros rank it as very important compared to 43% of men
  • Salary: 74% of women tech pros rank it as very important, compared to 66% of men 

Will You Move for an IT Job?

Ultimately, the Tech on the Move study shows that as technology continues to spur job growth in new regions, the tech workforce is mobile and willing to relocate for the right job. And with tech thriving in areas far beyond traditional coastal hubs, IT pros have more opportunity and choice than ever for where to advance their careers.

What matters most to you when it comes to where you want to live and work?

Download CompTIA’s Tech on the Move study for a full analysis of what tech workers consider when choosing where to live and work. 

About Relocation America International

Relocation America International is a full service relocation management company dedicated to providing innovative relocation services, value added support, and superior customer service to clients relocating families domestically and internationally. Visit for more information about our services or contact us at

Breaking News:Atlas Vanlines Releases Results of 2019 Corporate Relocation Survey

Every year since 1968 Atlas Vanlines conducts a comprehensive survey of corporate relocation decision makers. This year, 444 respondents completed online questionnaires between January 15 and February 22. Each respondent has responsibility for relocation and is employed by a company that has either relocated employees during the past two years or plans to relocate employees this year.

This year’s survey yields a treasure trove of information certain to uncover the trends and offer clear understanding to the evolving challenges in corporate relocation. In general, 2018 was another positive year for the relocation industry; roughly nine out of ten organizations indicate both volumes and budgets either held steady or increased.

Tax Reform Policy Changes

Most firms, across sizes, implemented policy changes last year in response to the tax
law and its elimination of the deduction for moving expenses. A majority plan to do so
again in 2019. While the most common change was to gross-up taxable relocation
benefits, firms put many other methods in play to manage costs and protect
employees against negative financial impacts.

Below are some keys findings from the survey along with a link to the complete survey results.

  • For the past eight years, the key external factor affecting relocation volumes has been the lack of qualified local talent.
  • Family issues/ties has taken the top spot among reasons for declined relocations, while spouse/partner employment has held second place.
  • Over the last five years, the majority of firms have used candidate assessments to support relocations.
  • For the fifth year in a row roughly six in ten firms indicate spousal/partner employment “almost always” or “frequently” affects relocations.

The Atlas Vanlines Corporate #Relocation Survey contains  a tremendous amount of useful relocation information presented in an easy to read format.  For a complete copy of the survey results please click on the link below:

52nd Annual Atlas Corporate Relocation Survey

About Relocation America International

Relocation America International is a full service relocation management company dedicated to providing innovative relocation services, value added support, and superior customer service to clients relocating families domestically and internationally. Visit for more information about our services or contact us at