If you have decided to relocate abroad, negotiating a good expat package is an important part of the process. If you have received a firm job offer it’s important to take certain things into consideration about how you negotiate the terms of your contract.
Do your research
If this is your first job, you won’t have much room to negotiate, but if you are at middle management or higher it’s important to research salaries, the cost of living, housing, currency, taxes and the benefits that are on offer in your new country. One of the best places to do this is on expat sites where you can find many forums, blogs and advice columns. Many reputable organisations also conduct annual surveys recording the cost of living in different countries as well as the average wages and even the average expat packages.
Reach out and network
The best form of advice and information is to speak to someone who is already living in your new country and is working in a position similar to the one that you will be holding. LinkedIn is a good place to find someone like this. Expats tend to be very open and friendly and are generally happy to answer questions because they have been through the process before. Ask politely what their packages include and you will most likely get an answer. In many countries expat packages can be a lot more than you would normally receive for the same role back in your home country and include things like education for your children, healthcare and accommodation.
Investigate the rental market
If you are offered an accommodation allowance, do your research to confirm that it actually covers what you need. Often the amount sounds like a lot, but when you start your investigations you might discover that the amount is only a portion of what you need to live in a good location. If your company has already rented your apartment, ensure it has the facilities that you and your family require.
Check out the schools
If you have children, it’s crucial you find out what schools will be in your area and if they can accommodate your children. If you are moving to a country where a foreign first language is spoken, you may have to consider one of the International Schools and their fees can be very high. So it’s important to ascertain whether you will be paying for this or whether your company will be covering education costs.
Tackle your tax
Ensure you know the implications that relocating abroad has on your taxes. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you are getting double taxed. As a South African expat, you might qualify for double taxation relief. You may also be eligible for tax-relief on your South African pensions and annuity incomes.
At FinGlobal our tax specialists have expert knowledge of SARS and SARB regulations and are able to discover if you are eligible for a tax refund. Our investigations can require a substantial investment of time and effort, but our clients are only charged if we successfully obtain a refund.
If you are interested in finding out whether you qualify for a tax refund, at no charge to yourself, unless the outcome is successful, contact us today.