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5. Decide on the amount(s)
This can be one of the hardest decisions to make, especially with remote internships. Here are some potential solutions: A stipend or allowance based on education level, geographic location, or position A standardized amount - this is common in fully remote situations A hybrid solution - for example, interns required to be in-office receive housing benefits, those working remotely don’t. Some companies offer different amounts by location for in-person internships, but remote intern stipends are a standardized amount. On an intern-by-intern basis - if they’re living with their parents no stipend is given, but if they have expenses and need a stipend it will be provided. The ideal setup will differ depending on your organization and your intern’s needs.
6. Consider the Tax Implications
If you’re providing stipends or other benefits, how are you going to handle the taxes? Even for interns, any compensation is taxable - even housing reimbursement. This means that the $1500 monthly housing stipend you provide may actually only net them $1200 to pay their rent, utilities, etc. Many companies provide tax gross-ups to offset this financial burden. Don’t forget to budget for this as part of your internship program.
7. Adopt an IPM (Intern Program Management) Strategy
Decide whether you'll manage the program in-house, or use a relocation partner to help secure intern housing and disburse stipends or housing allowances. Managing internships remotely is hard enough on its own, without the added challenge of housing and stipends. A relocation/intern management partner can reduce that burden by taking care of housing needs and stipend disbursement, along with fielding ongoing intern questions about their move - freeing you to focus on managing the internship itself.
Although the 2021 intern season looks a lot different than a few years ago, you can still rock a successful internship program in a remote environment, and reap the many benefits enjoyed by both employers and interns this year. And if you'd like a custom review of your internship program, or simply a consultation on best practices, please feel free to reach out to us any time!