Frequently Asked Tax & Legal Questions 

More detailed information on these topics and more is available through Tax & Legal MasterSource

(Scroll down for Legal Questions)

Tax Questions
Prepared by Worldwide ERC® Tax Counsel, Peter K. Scott
Peter K. Scott Associates
Current as of January, 2017

Home Purchase Programs 
Q. Do home purchase programs have to meet the 50-mile or one-year rules?
Q. Are Amended Value programs accepted by the Internal Revenue Service?
Q. Are Buyer Value Option programs accepted by the Internal Revenue Service?
Q. Is it permissible to use a blank deed to pass title in a home purchase program?
Q. Is a second home, or a home to which the employee does not have title, eligible for a home purchase program?
Q. What is a “directed offer,” and how do we determine the value of a home?
Q. What rules apply to purchases of employee homes in foreign countries?
Q. Are costs and losses on home purchase programs deductible by the employer?

Moving Expenses
Q. What is the “50-mile” rule?
Q. What is the “one-year” rule?
Q. Are moving expenses paid to terminated or retiring employees taxable?
Q. Are expenses of  moving household goods from a location other than the employee’s home deductible?

Payroll and Withholding Issues
Q. When are withholding and tax deposits required for taxable relocation expenses?
Q. What is “gross-up” and how is it calculated?

Q. Can companies make no-interest relocation loans to employees?
Q. Are mortgage subsidies taxed to employees?

Temporary Assignments
Q. When do expense reimbursements for a short-term assignment become taxable to the employee?
Q. If an employee’s relocation to another work location is delayed, are travel and living expenses up until the actual move deductible as temporary assignment expenses?
Q. Are reimbursements of travel and living expenses taxable to summer interns?

Legal Questions

Prepared by Richard H. Mansfield
Mansfield & Associates

Edited by Tristan North
Worldwide ERC® Government Affairs Advisor
Current as of August 2012

Q.  What areas of law are important for the mobility professional to be aware of?

Q. What are the privacy laws which apply to financial data collected during a relocation?
Q. What are the requirements and coverage of the FTC Privacy Rule?
Q. What are the requirements and coverage of the FTC Safeguards Rule?
Q. What are the requirements and coverage of the FTC RED Flags Rule?
Q. What are the penalties for violating the Privacy Rules?

Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA)
Q. What is RESPA and why is it important?
Q. What real estate sales are covered by RESPA?
Q. Are there any exceptions to the RESPA requirements?
Q. If the employer assumes the mortgage of a transferring employee, is this subject to RESPA?
Q. Who is covered by RESPA?
Q. What disclosure requirements are required by RESPA?
Q. What are the tolerances allowed a lender when it provides the GFE to a borrower?
Q. What are the anti kickback prohibitions found in RESPA?
Q. What is an Affiliated Business Relationship?

Q. What is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and how does it apply to relocation?
Q. Which employees does SOX apply to?
Q. Are bridge loans or equity advances to executive officers prohibited by SOX?

Pre-decision Counseling Programs
Q. Are there any legal issues to watch for in pre-decision counseling programs?
Q. Does the type of pre-decision counseling program matter when looking at risk management?
Q. What about contract employees?
Q. Do the privacy rules apply to pre-decision counseling programs?

Real Property Condition Disclosure
Q. Home sale programs involve two distinct sales. What do I need to know about the process?
Q. What is the general law of property condition disclosure?
Q. What types of defects need to be disclosed to prospective buyers?
Q. Are all state mandated property disclosure forms the same?
Q. How does the employer or RMC find out about the condition of the transferee’s house?
Q. Does the property disclosure requirement vary with the type of home sale program?
Q. What is the rule on stigmatized properties?
Q. Are there state statutes regarding stigmatized property?
Q. How about environmentally stigmatized houses?
Q. How about houses built with faulty construction products?
Q. How about houses built near or containing toxic or unhealthy materials?
Q. What are the federal requirements for lead paint disclosure?
Q. How does Megan’s Law affect property sales?

Government Contracts
Q. How are relocation services sold to the federal government?
Q. Are federal government agencies required to include the SOW into their contracts with RMCs?

Miscellaneous Issues
Q. Are there any laws affecting guerrilla marketing of relocation services through social media?
Q. What is the Dodd-Frank Act, and how will it affect the talent mobility industry?