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MULTI-NATIONALS = PEOPLE + MONEY ON THE MOVE

The Quest for Global Mobility

What does it mean to have more than one nationality, more than one citizenship, more than one residence, more than one employer, more than one jurisdiction for your business, globally-situated assets and family beneficiaries in more than one country?

 

Complications!

 

From the beginning of known human existence, individuals and their families have been international nomads. Driven by climate change, food sources, culture, religion, socioeconomics, and trading interests via ancient land and sea routes, our ancestors were people on the move.

 

We are even more mobile today. Our world is on the move, incessantly restless, aggressively in pursuit of the next new thing, the next big success, the next global product launch....

 

The accessibility of global trade markets in our current business environment has generated the largest transition of

  • ideas,
  • individual & business opportunities,
  • remunerations to home countries,
  • people seeking immigration & emigration, and
  • ownership of physical and intangible multi-jurisdictional assets in history.

 

Mobile people, in embracing migratory transitions that dramatically impact their lives, know that it will be financially challenging, as well as difficult (sometimes devastating) to families and personal relationships in a home country, but finding their personal situation adversely affected by changes in economic and employment environments, inflationary pressures, political instability, and sheer unaffordable lifestyles, are making permanent emigration to a receptive third (fourth or more) country a desired goal.

 

International mobility enhances a country’s Gross Domestic Product. Globally mobile individuals, who must often make terribly difficult personal sacrifices to seek gainful employment abroad, will during their offshore tenure, generate millions in personal savings (in much sought after hard currency) to be remitted to their families in the home country.

 

The Migration Policy Institute Global Remittances Guide map demonstrates that in 2013, remittances by expatriate citizens to the home country were near or at 10 percent of GDP, with quite a few contributing 20 percent or more of GDP, a significant contribution to home country coffers.

 

Cross Border Consequences -

The Financial Complexity of the Pondstraddler* Life

 

 

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Bermuda Residents - the Real Perennial Pondstraddlers* and their Cross Border Financial Planning

 

 

THE PONDSTRADDLER ♦ LIFE™ - Crossing Borders, Changing Lives

 

 

US Citizens Abroad do have help from non-profit organizations committed to helping, lobbying, and reporting on your behalf.

 

American Citizens Abroad

 

The Association of Americans Resident Overseas

 

 

 

 

International mobility is advantageous for global businesses. Worldwide, country-by-country, the pace of global corporate business mobility has never slowed. Multinational entities will move where the business is in order to meet marketing needs, and open new consumer frontiers.

 

It could probably be stated conservatively that every large multinational entity employs global mobility strategies. Inherent within such mobility are myriad decisions relative to specific country / culture tailored products, transfer pricing, taxation policies compliant with tax treaties, international and domestic tax laws, environmental regulatory awareness, adherence to global accounting standards (IFRS), strict compliance with international and domestic securities laws, AML (Anti-Money Laundering), (KYC) Know Your Client Reporting Regulations, FATCA, GATCA, OECD Common Reporting Standards, the EU Directive, the pending OECD/G20 Base Erosion & Profit Shifting Initiative, Financial Crimes on foreign bribery, corruption, domestic and international employee regulations relative to benefits, compensation, and so on.

 

For the International citizen executive - global nomad is the key word. Citizens of the United States and multiple countries across the globe are relocating as expatriates outside their home environment, seeking inclusion in the global migratory career track, while expanding career opportunities, linguistic capabilities, along with their corporate employers’ outreach into new markets and production facilities diversification.

 

Calling it “the post-colonial era of marketing,” Advertising Age’s report, “From Cincy to Singapore, Others are moving key head quarters, employees, divisions and even global holdings overseas. Migration moves are executed for a number of reasons, but aligning corporate mandates closer to the largest / fastest growing customer bases, often in the Far East, cost efficiencies, and expansion planning for new product development are large decision drivers.    

 

Global Mobility increases taxes in government treasuries. The United States citizenship-based taxation structure continues to receive criticism for its world-wide tax and reporting positions. However, in the age of global information exchanges, along with implementation of various cooperative reporting initiatives between countries (i.e. FATCA and its emulator-type succesors, GATCA, OECD CRS, EU Directive, etc.), the taxation of non-resident citizens and residents of almost any country across the global spectrum has emulated the US while becoming more determined, strategic, and flexible. Cooperative agreements of various types have given global taxing authorities tremendous jurisdictional reach and the ability to monitor, analyze, compare, track and tax the financial lives of their residents, citizens and nonresidents investing in a country.

 

Money on the Move. Global mobility is not limited to individual physical transitions. Finances of all sorts are incredibly electronically mobile today, too. Open an investment account in your home country; the security assets may be derived from, sited, and subject to tax in a second country (i.e. US citizens living abroad), while the custodians / investment managers may be located in third, fourth, and fifth countries.

 

Every border crossing has consequences. Every border crossing impacts individuals and businesses in life transitions. Navigating through such complexity requires careful attention and detailed financial planning both from a domestic and international perspective prior to action steps relative to:

 

• Immigration and customs
• Residency, domicile and citizenship
• Country connections and familial relationships: social, emotional, cultural and physical ties to two or more countries
• International and domestic tax compliance
• Dueling economies and their impact on trade & business
• Cash management and foreign exchange
• Investments: international and domestic allocations, passive and active, tangible and intangible, tax efficient and tax compliant
• Insurance and risk management
• Retirement lifestyles
• Pension complexity and constraints
• Estate planning for multinational families in more than one jurisdiction
• International reporting environment: FATCA, GATCA, EU Directive, OECD Common Reporting Standards, AML| Anti-Money Laundering Compliance,
• Regulatory quagmires, conflicts of laws, and inadvertent international financial planning traps

 

Global Mobility is here to stay! Mobility-linked family, careers, education, emotional, business, retirement and legacy ties to other countries inevitably make managing a family’s personal financial situations extremely difficult, disadvantaged, and complex (such as having a Non-US spouse), particularly when possible tax liability exposure and regulatory situations are inherent, but little understood. Browse the American Citizens Abroad, the Voice of Americans Overseas for further issues and assistance.

 

It is a paramount part of any international financial plan that globally mobile individuals carefully consider the impact of decisions (not inclusive, or fully comprehensive) on

  • where they are now,
  • who they (and their multiple family parties) are,
  • what they've invested in and where,
  • what risks will be incurred in not planning for domestic & international mobility contingencies,
  • how long they've been resident in a country (day counting),
  • where and how they want to retire,
  • how links to relatives impact family emotional financial parity and estate rationalization, and
  • what nationality / citizenship they want to acquire, retain, renounce, or formally relinquish - in order to avoid complicated costly personal and business financial situations going forward.

 

Source: To Disregard or Not, That is the Question?

The Unequal Business Path to Global Mobility. Comparing and Contrasting the International Business Expansion Decision Making Process, Including the Use of Disregarded Entities Between A Domestic United States Corporation with Contemplated Foreign Operations And A Dual-Citizen (of United States/Bermuda) Permanently Resident Abroad and the Principal Owner of a Foreign Business.

Thesis by Martha Harris Myron, CPA PFS JSM: Masters of Law in International Taxation and Financial Services.

 

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