Business Services Policy - Employee Relocation

The purpose of the Employee Relocation Expense Policy is to provide guidance to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (University) regarding reimbursement for relocation expenses incurred by new personnel. This policy provides further clarification of the University of Wisconsin System Financial Administration Policy 240: Relocation (Household Moves) and Temporary or Indefinite Work Assignments.

 Functional Owner  Purchasing Director
 Executive Sponsors  Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance
 Policy Contact  Assistant Controller


Who this policy applies to:
All employees

Rationale:
The purpose of the Employee Relocation Expense Policy is to provide guidance to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (University) regarding reimbursement for relocation expenses incurred by new personnel. This policy provides further clarification of the University of Wisconsin System Financial Administration Policy 240: Relocation (Household Moves) and Temporary or Indefinite Work Assignments.
 

Policy Detail:

TAXABLE REIMBURSEMENT

  • In accordance with IRS regulations, effective January 1, 2018, the reimbursement, or payment of any relocation costs under this policy are considered taxable income and subject to applicable income and employment taxes.
POLICY
  • Eligibility
    Reimbursement of relocation expenses for new employees including Faculty and IAS, Academic Staff, and University Staff may be authorized and funded through the hiring department. The reimbursement of expenses may be offered up to the maximum amounts allowed for direct and indirect costs of relocation as defined by the employee’s appointment letter. Reimbursement is not allowed for employees appointed as University Staff Temporary (formerly limited term employees (LTEs) or project positions. In order to be eligible for reimbursement, an employee relocation generally needs to be within 50 miles of the city of La Crosse for a position with on-campus employment. The relocation must be completed no later than one year from the effective date of the appointment or the end of probation, whichever is later.
  • Reimbursement Amounts
    Reimbursement amounts for relocation will be specified in the appointment letter. 
    • Faculty and IAS, Academic Staff, and University Staff positions 
      • The former residence must be at least 50 miles from the university. 
      • Direct costs of relocation are reimbursable up to $4,000. 
      • A stipend of up to $1,000 may be provided for indirect costs of relocation. 
      • Mileage reimbursement may be provided for the employee and immediate family members in one vehicle from the former residence to the new residence. The maximum allowable mileage reimbursement shall be based on one-way mileage using the most direct route. Internet mapping services, such as Google Maps, are the standard tools for calculating mileage. 
        • Standard Mileage Rate as January 1, 2021, is $0.56 per mile 
        • Standard Mileage Rate as January 1, 2022, is $0.585 per mile 
    • Positions titled Director or above 
      • The former residence must be at least 50 miles from the university. 
      • Direct costs of relocation are reimbursable up to $6,000. 
      • A stipend of up to $1,000 may be provided for indirect costs of relocation. 
      • Mileage reimbursement may be provided for the employee and immediate family members in one vehicle from the former residence to the new residence. The maximum allowable mileage reimbursement shall be based on one-way mileage using the most direct route. Internet mapping services, such as Google Maps, are the standard tools for calculating mileage. 
        • Standard Mileage Rate as January 1, 2021, is $0.56 per mile 
        • Standard Mileage Rate as January 1, 2022, is $0.585 per mile 
  • Direct and Indirect Costs of Relocation 
    • Direct Costs of Relocation
      Relocation costs for household goods are considered direct costs of relocation that are reimbursable. Examples of direct costs of relocating household goods follow. 
      • appliance service 
      • packing and unpacking 
      • containers and packing material 
      • piano/organ moving 
      • fuel/insurance surcharge (This is not a charge the employee has control over.) 
      • line haul charge (rate per 100 lbs. x pounds moved) 
      • seasonal rate adjustment 
      • weight and bulky articles charges 
      • third party services (see Section C.3) associated with crating, uncrating, assembling, or disassembling typical household items such as a pool table, appliances, clocks, hot tubs, and televisions 
      • charges for long carry, stairs, and elevators 
      • ferry, bridge, ramp, and shuttle service charge

Household goods are personal effects of the employee and the immediate family of the employee. Examples include furniture, clothing, musical instruments, household appliances, food, and other items which are usual and necessary for the maintenance of a household, and which may be transported legally in interstate commerce. It is the employee’s responsibility to consult with Business Services prior to moving the item(s) to determine whether the item(s) are classified as household goods. The following items are NOT considered household goods: 
      • property for resale 
      • property not owned by the family 
      • farm equipment 
      • livestock 
      • trucks/trailers 
      • boats over 14 feet 
      • automobiles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles 
      • building materials 
      • items used in a personal business 
      • pets, flammable items, caustic aerosols, spoilable items, plants, jewelry, frozen food, etc., and other items that might be found in a household but which the carrier cannot or will not allow to be placed in the moving van 
      • swing sets, jungle gyms, and other similar outdoor items 

    • Indirect Costs of Relocation
      Payment of a stipend directly to the employee is allowed to cover indirect costs of relocation. The maximum amount of the stipend is $1,000. A stipend may not be paid more than 30 days prior to the employee’s start date. Receipts are not required for reimbursement (employees are advised to retain all receipts for personal tax filing purposes) but a fully executed appointment letter is required as an attachment with the reimbursement request. The following indirect costs associated with relocation may be covered by a stipend: 
      • costs associated with relocating items that are not considered household goods 
      • third party services for swing sets, jungle gyms, and other outdoor items 
      • travel costs enroute (meals, lodging, tolls, etc.) • mileage or hauling/towing of additional vehicles 
      • service charges for expedited services/space reservation/exclusive use 
      • house hunting 
      • valuation/additional insurance 
      • extra pickup and/or delivery of household goods 
      • storage for the convenience of the employee 
      • warehouse handling 
      • weight and bulky articles charges for items not considered household goods 
      • overtime loading or unloading required by customer 
    • Relocation Using Commercial Carriers
      UW System Financial Administration has contracts established with SIRVA Van Lines (Piepho Moving and Storage) and UniGroup Van Lines (United Van Lines) for the relocation of household goods for university employees. If one of these carriers is not used, estimates from a minimum of three vendors must be obtained and submitted with the reimbursement request. Reimbursement is allowed up to the lowest of the three estimate amounts provided on the bill of lading and estimates submitted. 
    • Relocation Without Using Commercial Carriers (Self-Moves)
      An employee can elect to relocate himself or herself. Reimbursement for a self-move relocation is limited to the actual, reasonable, and necessary costs for any hired labor in loading and unloading the household goods and for the rental of trucks, trailers, containers, moving equipment, or other expenses directly related to the relocation. Neither the employee nor the employee’s spouse or dependents may be reimbursed for their labor. The reimbursement request must be supported by original receipts. Estimates are not required from commercial carriers to support self-moves. 
    • Relocation on a Piecemeal Basis (a move that requires more than a single trip)
      The total cumulative reimbursed cost of moving household goods on a piecemeal basis may not exceed the amount which would have been charged if the relocation had been accomplished in one trip. To make that determination, an estimate from a contract commercial carrier showing the cost to accomplish the move in one trip should be obtained and submitted with the reimbursement request. 
  • University Responsibility 
    • Proper approval of the reimbursement of relocation expenses per this policy occurs through the Human Resources PeopleAdmin Online Recruitment System. The outcome is an appointment letter which is provided to the employee and Business Services specifying type of expenses and maximum amount the employee can be reimbursed. In the appointment letter, the employee is provided a link to the Business Services Travel webpage where this policy can be found to assist the employee in requesting reimbursement of relocation expenses incurred. 
    • Business Services is responsible for the proper payment and tax reporting of a stipend and the reimbursement of relocation expenses. 
  • Employee Responsibility 
    • The employee is responsible for adhering to this policy and should consult with Business Services prior to incurring any expense that may not be reimbursable. 
    • The employee must submit reimbursement requests via an e-Reimbursement report within 90 days of the contractor move date or receipted expense that includes the required approvals, comparison/quotes and supporting original receipts.


Revision history:
Effective: October 21, 2015
Last Reviewed: December 21, 2015
Updated: May 22, 2022, May 30, 2019, June 16, 2021, October 11, 2021, January 3, 2022
 

Supporting tools:

Responsibilities:
N/A
 

Links to related information:
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Keywords:Business Services Policy, Policy, Business Services, relocation, travel, moving expenses, direct relocation, indirect relocation   Doc ID:116780
Owner:Mark H.Group:UW-La Crosse
Created:2022-02-15 12:04 CDTUpdated:2022-05-22 17:36 CDT
Sites:UW-La Crosse
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