Expenditures for moving must be authorized in advance by the President or applicable Vice President. These individuals are responsible for determining that budgeted funds are available for moving expenses and that the expenses are in compliance with this Policy. The cost of moving a current employee who transfers to another University location may be reimbursed, if approved by the President or the employee’s Vice President as an exception to this Policy.
The offer letter given to a new (or current) employee approved for the reimbursement of moving expenses should include the maximum dollar amount reimbursable and state that a portion of the reimbursement may be taxable. Such employees should be provided with a copy of this Policy.
Sponsored Projects and Other Restricted Funds
Sponsored project funds and other restricted funds may not be used for moving-related expenses unless specifically authorized in the contract or grant agreement or other document governing the use of the funds.
METHODS OF PAYMENT
The preferred method of payment for moving expenses is the University-issued Purchasing Card. This card is issued to certain employees for making business-related purchases on behalf of the University. Departments are responsible for reconciling all Purchasing Card charges in the Concur Reporting System. See the Purchasing Card Policy
If a Purchasing Card is not an acceptable form of payment, the department should submit a Payment Request
to Business Services through the Concur Reporting System. A payment will be issued within 10 business days after Business Services receives the properly completed Payment Request
Departments are responsible for providing sufficient documentary evidence to support the business purpose of all moving-related expenses. Documentation for both Purchasing Card and Payment Request transactions should be in the form of an original bill or receipt and should include the date, vendor name and location, description of the items purchased, and total dollar amount. Receipts for all moving-related transactions should be faxed or scanned for submission to the Concur Reporting System.
TAX TREATMENT OF MOVING EXPENSES
Under the IRC and applicable Treasury Regulations, nontaxable (i.e., deductible) moving expenses reimbursed by an employer, or paid to a third party on behalf of an employee, are excludable from an employee's gross income provided the following three requirements are met:
- Related to the Start of Work - The move must be made in connection with the commencement of work at a new job location and the moving expenses must be incurred within one year from the date the employee first reports to the new job.
- Time Test - During the 12-month period immediately following the move, the individual must be employed full-time for at least 39 weeks.
- Distance Test - The distance between the employee’s new job location and his or her former residence must be at least 50 miles more than the distance between the individual’s previous work location and his or her former residence. For example, if the employee’s old job location was 3 miles from the employee’s former home, the University job location must be at least 53 miles from that former home.
Unless all three requirements are met, any payments made for moving expenses will be taxable and must be reported as specified below.
Any reimbursement or payment to a third party of taxable moving expenses must be included in an employee's gross income as additional wages, subject to withholding.
Taxable expenses include, but are not limited to, the following examples—some of which are not reimbursable:
- Meal expenses incurred while moving from the old residence to the new residence;
- Meals and lodging charges incurred while occupying temporary quarters in the area of the new job location;
- Pre-move house-hunting expenses;
- Return trips to former residence;
- Storage charges, except those incurred in transit (for up to 30 consecutive days) and foreign moves;
- Mileage reimbursements in excess of the moving rate published in the Travel and Entertainment Policy; and
- Real estate expenses, including expenses of buying or selling a home, rental payments, entering into or breaking a lease, mortgage penalties, property taxes, loss of security deposits, etc.
Only those expenses described in the Policy Text
are eligible for reimbursement. An employee should consult his or her tax adviser in connection with any taxable payment received from the University or made by the University to a third party on the employee’s behalf.
Although amounts paid directly to an employee for the reimbursement of nontaxable moving expenses are excludable from the employee's gross income, the University must report the reimbursements to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for information purposes only, on the employee’s Form W-2. Nontaxable expenses paid directly to a third party (such as a moving company) on behalf of an employee, and similar nontaxable moving services that an employer furnishes in kind to an employee, are not reportable on the Form W-2.
Amounts paid for taxable moving expenses, whether or not they are paid directly to an employee, are includible in the employee's gross income, subject to withholding of applicable income, social security, and Medicare taxes. Such amounts must be reported as additional wages on the employee’s Form W-2.
Questions concerning the tax treatment and/or reporting of moving-related expenses should be referred to the Office of Internal Audit and Tax Compliance.
Moving and relocation expenses incurred by full-time faculty and non-administrative professional librarians are governed by the requirements set forth in the collective bargaining agreement between the University and the USF Faculty Association. These requirements include the following:
Moving and Relocation Expenses
Moving expense reimbursements are limited to a maximum of $4,000 for a relocation from the East Coast; a maximum of $2,500 for a relocation from the Midwest; and a maximum of $2,000 for a relocation from the West Coast. Moving expenses eligible for reimbursement are subject to the requirements set forth in this Policy. In addition, a new faculty or librarian employee requesting reimbursement must complete the Relocation Reimbursement Request, Faculty and Librarians
form published by Human Resources (HR).Rental Subsidy
New faculty and librarians are eligible to receive a one-time payment of up to $5,000 for the first and last month’s rent, subject to the submission of appropriate receipts to HR and completion of the Rent Reimbursement Request, Faculty and Librarians
form. The rental subsidy payment must be paid through the payroll system and is subject to withholding of applicable income, social security, and Medicare taxes.
A violation of any portion of this Policy may result in the suspension or termination of the cardholder’s right to use the declining balance card. Employees may also be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment and/or legal action. In addition, the employee will be personally liable for any declining balance card charges determined not to be for a University business purpose.