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Part 5. Financial Services

Section III. Moving/Recuitment/Travel/Official Social Function Guidelines

A. Moving (Updated 10-04)

1. Philosophy

To enable Idaho State University to be competitive in the employment market and to be able to attract and retain a competent work force, it may be necessary to defray an employee's moving expenses. Relocation is becoming increasingly common. Policies that help ease the employee's financial and personal problems of relocation and transfer are both a business necessity and a morale booster.

The University may provide reimbursement for the sum of actual, allowed moving expenditures when accompanied by adequate accounting and documentation. Reimbursement is allowed up to the maximum individual reimbursement rates or the maximum aggregate moving expense reimbursements limit as prescribed in this policy. All moving expense reimbursements shall comply with the terms and conditions of the ISU Moving Reimbursement Policy as prescribed herein, as well as the State Moving Policy and Procedures.

Employees, both current and prospective, are cautioned that the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 made certain types of employer-reimbursed moving expenses excludable from income under Section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRS). The IRS classified these types as "qualified" moving expenses. Other types of reimbursable moving expenses not included under Section 132 are considered by the IRS to be "non-qualified" moving expenses and, therefore, subject to income taxes if reimbursed to the employee. In addition, for reimbursements to qualify for exclusion from income, the moving expenses must meet IRS time and distance tests. These tests, along with examples of the qualified and non-qualified moving expenses, are provided in Appendices A and B of this policy. Employees are encouraged to consult with a personal tax professional for advice on the tax implications of any moving expense reimbursements.

2. Eligibility and Authorization

a. The University president, vice presidents and deans are authorized to decide whether to offer moving expenses on a case-by-case basis up to the limits set forth in this policy.

b. The Idaho State University Moving Reimbursement Policy Summary must accompany all employment offers where the University is agreeing to provide moving support. Moving expense reimbursement is limited to faculty and non?classified employees.

c. Moving expenses for current University employees require a change in the employee's official workstation and such move shall be in the best interest of the University. Current employees must have been employed for a minimum of six (6) months. All moves of current employees require prior written approval of the appropriate administrator to qualify for moving expense reimbursements.

d. All moves must meet the IRS tests to qualify for moving reimbursement (see Appendix B).

e. Newly hired employees must coordinate all moving expense reimbursements with the management assistant in the Office of Financial Services.

f. When officially hired but prior to incurring any moving expenses, the new employee and the Vice President for Financial Services shall sign an Employee Moving Service Agreement stating the terms and conditions associated with receipt of any moving expense reimbursement. The signed agreement must be on file in the Office of Financial Services prior to the move.

g. The maximum aggregate moving expense reimbursement shall not exceed 10% of the employee's base salary or $15,000, whichever is less. However, the University president, vice presidents and deans have the authority to set a lower limit.

h. If a newly hired employee voluntarily resigns before fulfilling the required period of employment as stated in the Employee Moving Service Agreement pursuant to this policy, the employee is liable to repay the University on a prorated basis. Repayment amounts shall be prorated as follows:

If resignation is-

· Within one (1) year of the official beginning date of employment, the employee shall be required to pay back all (100%) of the reimbursed moving expenses.

· More than one (1) year but less than two (2) years from the official date of employment, the employee shall be required to pay back that portion of the reimbursed moving expenses that exceeds $5,000.

· More than two (2) years but less than three (3) years from the official date of employment, the employee shall be required to pay back that portion of the reimbursed moving expenses that exceeds $10,000.

i. Exemptions to the repayment agreement require prior approval by the State Board of Examiners.

j. Agreements to pay for the moving of non?personal items, i.e. research equipment, instruments, etc. will be handled separately. These expenses will normally be paid by the individual and/or sponsoring department.

k. If more than one member of a household is employed by the State or the University, moving reimbursement shall be allowed for one employee only. Moving reimbursement shall be based on the employee with the greater base salary.

3. General Moving Expenses

a. Use of State/University equipment to move an employee or to pull a privately owned trailer or mobile home is expressly prohibited.

b. The University may reimburse the actual and necessary daily lodging expenses during a reasonable transit period for a move. This includes a maximum of one (1) night at departure location and one (1) night at destination.

c. The University may reimburse per diem (meals and incidental expenses) as follows:

· The employee plus a maximum of three dependents are each allowed the current University travel policy per diem rate during a reasonable transit period for a move;

· In no event shall the employee and dependents combined daily per diem reimbursement exceed four (4) times that of an individual employee's per diem rate.

Reimbursement of meals is subject to federal and state income tax.

d. The University may reimburse the employee in compliance with the University travel policy for the most economical mode of transportation for:

· Housing Hunting Trip - The University allows one (1) round-trip pre-moving (house hunting) trip for up to two people at the current rates for lodging, per diem and transportation pursuant to the University travel policy. The house hunting trip shall not exceed five (5) days. Reimbursement is subject to federal and state income tax and is applied to the maximum aggregate moving expense reimbursement.

· Vehicle Transportation - The University shall reimburse the one-way transport of up to two (2) privately owned vehicles from the old to the new location, using the most economical mode. Mileage will be paid using the current standard mileage rate allowed by the IRS (Pub. 521, "Travel by Car"). Parking fees and toll charges are reimbursable when supported by original receipts. Any part of general repairs, general maintenance, insurance or depreciation of the employee's vehicle does not qualify as a reimbursable expenditure.

e. The University will not reimburse expenses for transporting animals, camper trailers, boats, and other non-household items.

f. The University generally will not reimburse expenses incurred for extra labor-charges for doing things that would normally be done by the employee. Under extraordinary or justified hardship circumstances, the employee may petition the University requesting a waiver to be reimbursed up to a maximum amount for extra labor. Such waiver must be granted prior to the accrual of extra labor expenses.

4. Commercial Mover Expenses

a. The University may reimburse an employee for payment to a commercial mover, or may contract directly with a commercial mover to assist moving an eligible employee.

· Employees electing to use a commercial mover to transport their household goods should contact the Office of Financial Services for assistance in selecting a moving company.

b. The University may reimburse charges to disconnect, prepare for shipment, and reconnect appliances such as washers, dryers, etc., if the commercial moving company provides these services. However, the University will not reimburse charges for capital improvements such as wiring or plumbing, to accommodate appliance installations. In addition, the University will not reimburse service charges to disconnect and install televisions and radio antennas, playground equipment, hot tubs, Jacuzzis, etc.

c. The University may reimburse the employee for additional personal property insurance premiums up to a $100 maximum above and beyond the personal property insurance normally provided by the commercial mover.

d. The University will not reimburse the employee for personal liability insurance premiums.

5. Self-Haul Expenses

Employees may choose to move their household goods, personal effects and family members themselves using their own or rented modes of conveyance, as follows:

a. The University may reimburse rental charges, which include mileage rates charged by the rental company for truck rental, towing dolly or other rental conveyance, plus fuel costs for the rental vehicle for employees to move their own household goods, personal belongings and privately owned vehicle(s).

b. The University may reimburse the employee up to a $100 maximum for personal property insurance premium to insure household goods. The University will not reimburse the employee for personal liability insurance premiums.

6. Storage Including Warehouse Handling and Delivery

New employees are strongly encouraged to make arrangements for housing prior to the arrival of household goods at the new location. However, if under unusual circumstances prior housing cannot be arranged, the University may reimburse the following expenses:

a. Storage of household goods up to a maximum of thirty (30) consecutive days after the items are moved from the former residence and before they are delivered to the new residence.

b. The University may reimburse delivery and handling charges for the stored household goods and personal belongings; however, total storage, handling and delivery charges shall not exceed $800, and are applied to the maximum aggregate moving expense reimbursement.

 

Appendix A: IRS Taxable/Nontaxable Moving Expenses for examples of Qualified and Non-qualified moving reimbursements.

Allowable reimbursements by the University may have tax consequences for the employee. Table A1 details allowable reimbursements that the IRS considers qualified and non-qualified real estate relocation expenses. This list is not necessarily all-inclusive and is intended solely as a reference. For further information, consult the IRS moving reimbursement regulations (IRS Publication 521 or 523).

Employees are encouraged to consult with a personal tax professional for advice on the tax implications of any moving reimbursements.

Table A1. Examples of Qualified and Non-qualified Moving Reimbursements

Qualified

(Non-taxable; deductible by employee)‡

Non-Qualified

(Taxable or non-deductible by employee)†

Travel-only during actual move from former to new location. Travel-during any trips other than the actual move, that is interview or house hunting.
Lodging-only during actual move from former to new location. Lodging-during any trips other than the actual move, that is interview or house hunting.
Household goods Per diem (meals and some incidental expenses)
Packing charges  
Personal property insurance  
Appliance Services  
Extra labor  
Truck rental or other rental conveyance  
Mobile home moves  

NOTES:

‡The total dollars of "Qualified Moving Expenses" reimbursed directly to the employee must be included on the employee's W-2 form in box thirteen (13) as Code P.

†The total dollars of "Nonqualified Moving Expenses" will be processed through the payroll system as taxable compensation, with applicable taxes withheld and corresponding employer benefits paid.

 

Appendix B: IRS Time, Distance & Related to Work Tests

The IRS allows you to deduct moving expenses on your income tax return if you meet all three of the tests described below. To qualify for moving expense reimbursement by Idaho State University, the employee shall meet the distance test in accordance with the Internal Revenue Service (Pub. 521, "Who Can Deduct Moving Expenses"). Explanations below are not all inclusive. Please contact your personal tax consultant for further assistance.

A. Time Test

You must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after arriving in the general area of the new job location. Full-time employment for the State is a 40-hour workweek for twelve (12) months or an academic contract for either nine (9) or twelve (12) months.

B. Distance Test

Your move will meet the distance test if your new work location is at least 50 miles farther from your former home (Figure 1, Distance A) than your former work location was from your former home (Figure 1, Distance B). The distance between a job location and the former home is the shortest of the more commonly traveled routes between them.

C. Related to Start of Work

Moving expenses generally qualify as closely related in time to the start of work when they are incurred within one (1) year from the date you started work at the new location.

Moving expenses qualify as closely related in place to the start of work when the distance from your new residence to your new job location (C) is not more than the distance from your former home to your new job location (A), e.g. C < A (Figure B1).

Note: If the Time, Distance and Related to Work qualifications are not met, the IRS will consider the full amount of your moving expense reimbursement to be non-qualified and therefore taxable income.


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