How to Keep Your Mobility Assignment Tidy
Professional pointers on getting and staying organized during your global mobility assignment.
Celebrity organizer Marie Kondo touts the benefits of tossing unnecessary items that bring you no joy. Knick knack cabinets and junk drawers might benefit from Kondo’s organizational persuasions, but what about the clutter of relocation documents you’ve tucked away in your desk? While reimbursements are joyful, digging through the chaos of receipts and paperwork brings significantly less joy.
If you take the initiative to organize your global mobility relocation documents as you receive them, you’re guaranteed to thank yourself when it comes time to file expense reports and tax returns. We’re sharing our best organizational practices to keep your documents tidy and Kondo-approved.
First things first: review your company’s global mobility policy
Before accepting an assignment, your first action should be to review your company’s mobility policy regarding your relocation benefits. Understanding the policy details will empower you in your decision to accept an assignment by making you aware of your options.
If you’ve read your mobility policy and find yourself with unanswered questions, this is a great time to contact your mobility counselor. Your mobility counselor can provide insight into the benefits and potential challenges of accepting a relocation assignment.
Your mobility documents in the palm of your hand
A strong mobility program is only as good as its tools, which should include comprehensive assignment management software. Ineo’s TechSuite assignment management software includes an iOS interface that makes employee’s assignment documents conveniently available for their reference throughout their assignment lifecycle. Having your assignment information accessible on your mobile device makes maintaining your documents well-kept an easy affair.
Create an organizational strategy for your records
Once you’ve accepted your assignment, a surefire method to stay organized during your relocation is to establish a simple filing system. A filing system will help manage the various receipts and paperwork you’ll collect along the way. This process may seem tedious, but it’ll save you time and energy come tax season when you’re trying to locate documents and receipts.
We suggest you keep files for each of the following records and receipts:
Tax-deductible expense receipts.
These receipts will support your moving expense reports. If they’re not reimbursable under your company’s accountable plan, they may be viable for a deduction on your state tax return.
Non-deductible expense receipts.
These items (such as house-hunting trips, temporary housing, meal expenses during travel, etc.) may not be tax deductible but are potentially reimbursable by your company’s nonaccountable plan.
To ensure full reimbursement for your submitted expenses, file the supporting receipts for any payments received. Periodically matching them to your submitted expense reports will ensure nothing falls between the cracks.
Save copies of all pertinent office memos and correspondence. It’s prudent to obtain confirmation that shows your benefit entitlements, as you understand them, in writing if you need to reference them in the future.
Company expense reports.
Keeping copies of all submitted expense reports will guarantee that you neither duplicate nor omit costs incurred.
Utilize your file to temporarily hold legal documents about leases, the sale and purchase of residences, etc. Documents should be placed in a safe deposit box, ideally at your new bank. Once these records are secured, your file should only contain an inventory of legal documents in your safe deposit box.
This file can be a self-prepared log (a preprinted record is obtainable in business supply stores). Consider keeping this file in the car to record your odometer reading as you start and end your trip. If you decide not to use the standard state mileage rate, you’ll need to keep track of oil and gas used.
New state’s paperwork file.
Take advantage of an early start on your new state’s paperwork. New paperwork includes vehicle registrations (by mail, if possible), applications for a new driver’s license, voter’s registration, etc.
Mailing address changes file.
If you’re staying in temporary living quarters for an extended period, open a Post Office Box. Check last year’s tax returns to ensure you update your address with any organization that provides you with raw data for your tax returns, such as Subchapter S corporations, Partnerships, Trusts, etc.
What about items without receipts?
While it’s helpful to keep files on expenses and mileage, some relocation expenses might not be accompanied by a receipt. Estimates may have to be made if this is the case.
To create an estimation for your tax returns, write down any payments you’ve made (while your memory is still fresh) for which you have no receipt. Once your move is complete, these self-created documents can be used to support reimbursements or tax return deductions.
While the IRS prefers receipts, tax codes indicate that reasonable expenses are deductible and estimates may be necessary under certain circumstances.
Top-tier assignment management solutions to keep your mobility program organized
Ineo’s TechSuite global mobility software features all-inclusive global mobility program management solutions to keep your program’s data neat and tidy. TechSuite maximizes efficiency by streamlining information storage and generating batch reports using a secure, centralized data repository. TechSuite reduces data redundancy, consolidates processes, and keeps your program’s valuable information in shipshape.
Contact us today to learn more about how our global mobility solutions can help organize and support your mobility program.