How To Pay Employees Working Across International Borders

Employing staff in supporting, but not revenue-generating, roles is unlikely to lead to a risk of PE. However, each local tax authority has their own regulations as to what constitutes revenue-generating activities. If a company is found to be evading corporate taxes tied to a PE, they can expect severe penalties.

How do you pay employees in Mexico?

Employers of workers in Mexico must now pay their workers in Mexican pesos through government-approved Mexican banks. Employees can convert their payments after the fact, but they cannot receive their salaries in American dollars or any other currencies.

In these circumstances, health insurers are not obliged to issue a certificate of coverage to prove that the home country’s social security regime continues to have effect. For employees, this new approach can open up the attractive opportunity to work from «their place in the sun»; How To Pay Employees Working Across International Borders for employers, this option can be an ideal way to retain or attract qualified labour and talent. For robust and future-proofed workforce planning that supports sustainable value creation, organizations should consider having at the center a comprehensive mobility strategy.

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Independent contractorswork for you in another country, but they are not employees. The engagement is governed by a localized contract directly with the contractor that defines the parameters of the relationship and the work being performed. Your company could be seen as taking advantage of cheap labor, fragile economies, or supporting governments who have oppressive policies if you don’t have a thoughtful approach to localization. Remote cares deeply about offering fair and equitable compensation to everyone, everywhere. We strongly advise our customers and partners to do the same, and we share insights on how to manage this in practice.

  • When it comes to hiring, you should know whether you’re hiring employees or contractors from the start.
  • As an employer of record, Shield GEO may be required to collect and process personal data of an employee and their spouse, partner, or dependents.
  • In addition, taxpayers who claim the benefits of treaty provisions are generally required to disclose this position on the tax return for the tax year .
  • You must also consider currency conversion rates, as well as the need to track payments across multiple borders.
  • A nonresident is subject to tax at the graduated rates on income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, such as compensation for services rendered in the United States.
  • If you have questions about immigration, visas, or other specifics, we are always here to help — just reach out!
  • The employer would have to obtain appropriate registrations and licenses under local labour laws and have a registered place of business in the country.

The more you know before entering into a contract, the better positioned you are to have a fruitful relationship with your global team while avoiding any unnecessary legal problems or expense. Remote makes it easy to work with international contractors all around the world. Before deciding what employment model is right for your business, explore the pros and cons of working with international contractors. Unfortunately, the definition is not always so straightforward and can vary among countries. International employment laws dictate the parameters for who is a contractor and who is an employee. Contractor misclassification across international borders may sometimes feel like trying to hit a series of moving targets. An international contractor is a self-employed individual who provides services to your company.

Can You Treat Employees as Independent Contractors?

If the employer has been remitting income tax deductions to the original home tax authority in the meantime, this has to be unwound , refunds claimed, and double taxation avoided, as far as possible. Special considerations must be paid to U.S. workers given the U.S. citizenship-based tax regime and global withholding and reporting obligations.

What are the 4 phases of onboarding?

  • Phase 1: Pre-onboarding. The first phase of onboarding, also called pre-onboarding, begins as soon as a candidate accepts your offer and continues until their first day of joining.
  • Phase 2: Welcoming new hires.
  • Phase 3: Role-specific training.
  • Phase 4: Easing the transition to their new role.
  • Final thoughts.

You’ll want to assess the pros and cons of working with foreign contractors to determine whether it makes more sense to employ someone directly. Find out more about the fast, hassle-free way to onboard and pay international contractors with Remote. Sustainability – The compensation you provide ensures long-term organizational financial viability, and pay levels ensure sufficient wages for all contractors in all countries. Ethical Reward – Your compensation policy for international contractors is fully aligned with your mission and values. Project FAIR bases all their efforts on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and aligns with the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability. Their five principles and standards for fair compensation across international borders provide excellent guidance for startups and businesses who want to ensure their contractors feel valued and connected.


Whether or not PE is triggered largely depends on if your employee is engaging in revenue-generating activities. Since the lockdown of numerous countries around the world, for many, the once distant prospect of working from home or abroad has now become the norm. While some of your employees might be working from their holiday homes others may have packed their bags to work more permanently from an exotic location further afield. We then multiply the “annual weekday salary rate” by the number of weekdays since the employee started work.

Most countries’ labor laws will require you to pay remote employees in the local currency. One of the toughest parts — and by far the most expensive part — of paying international employees in other countries is setting up the infrastructure to do so. Before your first payroll period, you’re going to need to set up your company as an employer in the country in question. Expanding your business operations into foreign markets can be a great way to increase your brand recognition and your profit margin, while hiring international employees can help you engage top talent.

Tip: Take bold steps to accommodate and include your international employees.

Many employers will want to offer their GEO employees benefits like private medical insurance. In some countries, these benefits may be treated as a taxable benefit under the host country regulations, which means they are subject to income tax and social security.

It is a step in the direction of establishing a global distributed workforce. In other words, it is another facet of managing a network of international talent across borders through a combination of traditional international moves, remote working, and rotation across functions.

Global Hiring Solutions Backed by Local Expertise

We work with the client, employee and local entity to accommodate any requested revisions whilst keeping the contract compliant with the host country regulations. Shield has reviewed and implemented internal processes and practices to ensure our data collection process meets the data privacy regulations across all locations we are working in. We collect and transfer data using a secure online platform throughAccellion.

  • While there are challenges that come with navigating different labor and payroll regulations in other countries, there are also resources that streamline the process.
  • For example, when you pay international employees through your bank, the exchange rate is set at the bank’s discretion.
  • To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
  • For example, for conventional employees in your home country, traditional paychecks or direct deposits may work fine, even if they live far away from your home office.
  • This automation process via tech will enable employers to calculate salaries for each cycle, as well as tax, insurance and even pension contributions.
  • Orme says the particulars of a country’s approach to immigration are often dictated by internal politics and priorities.

Their social security contributions will also continue to be deducted from their salaries in the Netherlands. But, if they continue living abroad after this approximately 6 month threshold, their tax residency will change. If the client invoice currency and employee payroll currency are different, we apply a foreign exchange variance of 2-3% to any local currency inputs on the client invoice. For example, if the client will pay us in USD but we must pay the employee in KRW, then we’ll calculate the USD total based on the current USD/KRW exchange rate +2%. FX fluctuation can occur between the date when we raise our USD invoice and the moment we have converted the USD into KRW . The 2% buffer allows us to account for any change in the USD cost of paying the employee salary and statutory contributions.

Paid net means that we’ll add employees social security and income tax and the employers social security on top of the SGD 10,000. Paid gross means we should add the employers social contributions on top of the SGD 10,000 when we calculate your invoice.

How To Pay Employees Working Across International Borders

The PEO can assist with some registration and insurance requirements, but the GEO provides a more complete employment solution for clients. PEOs are frequently used within the US to handle multistate payroll issues, while a GEO can function across international borders for ease of payroll and employment compliance. Companies that elect a DIY approach face the daunting task of navigating complex local laws and regulations, including the need to set up a local corporate entity. Unless the HR department has broad expertise and legal resources to meet this challenge, there is an ongoing risk of non-compliance in the host country. One of the top reasons to work with international contractors is your ability to be agile when sourcing talent for your project, especially if you have short-term requirements.

Common Pitfalls When Hiring International Employees — and Tips on How to Avoid Them

Transfers of currency or monetary instruments of more than USD 10,000 in a single transaction, however, must be reported to the U.S. Department of the Treasury on FinCEN Form 105,Report of International Transportation of Currency of Monetary Instruments. This report is not required if the transfer occurs through normal banking channels. If, however, a “listed” country/territory or entity is involved, then there can be extensive embargoes, sanctions, record-keeping, and other restrictions of the flow of funds. The U.S. Treasury and the Office of Foreign Assets Control maintain the list of countries/territories and entities.

How To Pay Employees Working Across International Borders

As remote working expands in scale and scope, it offers employers new possibilities for hiring talent and testing new locations. But each hiring and payment option comes with caveats too risky to ignore. Understanding local laws and consulting with legal and tax professionals in advance will allow employers to chart a course of action while remaining flexible.

An EOR quickly and easily eliminates the barriers to entry in global markets. A global platform like Pilot can efficiently handle all aspects of international compliance for you. Our extensive resources include country-specific employee contracts, legal experts, and HR pros with in-depth knowledge of labor and tax laws in each country. One solution is to establish local entities in the country or countries where you’re hiring, but opening those branches can be too costly to justify, especially if you’re only hiring a small handful of employees per country. Either way, your company is on the hook for making sure it complies with all local employment and wage laws. Suppose the government finds that you’ve misclassified your employees or contractors. In that case, you’ll have to pay back taxes and wages, accounting for unpaid overtime and minimum-wage deficits, for each misclassified employee, and further demonstrate how you’re taking steps to classify workers correctly.

Due to the complexities involved with hiring international full-time remote employees, many companies opt to ‘hire’ contractors instead. As always, it’s a good idea to consult a professional or work with a global professional employer organization —like Horizons—who can help you efficiently and compliantly pay remote employees. If you must comply with a foreign country’s labor laws, make sure to check to see if there is any guidance on how frequently you should pay each employee. You don’t want to be caught paying each employee monthly when their local labor laws require at least biweekly payments. Your company must also keep accurate records of taxes paid, as the tax authority in a foreign country may conduct an audit of the company at any time. This means that your company must keep all tax documents and receipts for years or risk paying hefty fines if an audit reveals that you weren’t withholding or paying the correct tax amounts.

When do employers have to provide benefits?

Employees have to be carefully classified as contractors or full-time employees based on their work hours, tenure, nature of work, duration of the project, benefits, withholding taxes, etc. But if you need to pay dozens of contractors and employees, wire transfers quickly become unmanageable.