A Differential Assessment Study is designed to determine if an Employee’s relocation means they are being asked by their Company to move to an area where ‘like for like’ housing costs differ from their current home location.
The Study will assess the difference between the actual value of an employee’s existing property and its perceived value in an alternative, (but as closely as possible), equivalent location, and whether that difference is positive or negative.
This means any financial assistance offered by the Company will ensure the employee will be able to maintain a similar standard of housing in the new area whilst confirming that the Company is not funding ‘betterment’ by over compensating.
A Differential Assessment Study is primarily used to:
Determine how much (if any) Additional Mortgage Interest or Rental Allowance is justified
Determine if the level of Stamp Duty Land Tax payable on the Employees purchase of a new home is reasonable for the Company to reimburse (i.e. assuming a ‘like for like’ purchase) irrespective of the Employees actual purchase.
Perhaps rather less obvious, Differential Assessment provides a very useful tool for Pre-Relocation Budgeting and Cost Forecasting, particularly in a group move situation.
The methodology used and the results of these studies will be tailored to reflect the conditions of the Company’s Relocation Policy. Any fees for a differential study are a Company cost and therefore excluded from the £8,000 tax threshold levied against the Employee.