The Catholic University of America

Finance: Finance
Relocation Expense Policy

 

Approved by: Board of Trustees
History: Issued   -- March 14, 2001  
  Revised -- December 9, 2008  
Related Policies: Travel Policy
Additional References:  
Responsible Official:

Vice President for Finance and Treasurer tel. 202-319-5606

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I.     Introduction
 
It is the policy of the university to permit reimbursement of relocation expenses under extraordinary conditions and subject to prior approval by the cognizant Vice President.

This policy applies to all university faculty and staff when relocation reimbursement is necessary to recruit high quality faculty and staff. In cases where there are specific departmental policies regarding relocation expenses or restrictions for a grant or contract, this policy does not supersede those specific requirements, as long as those requirements are more restrictive.

Procedures and Regulations

II.    Requirement for Advance Authorization

At the time a position is opened for recruitment, or at the time a final candidate is being considered, but before an employment offer is made, the hiring manager who believes that a relocation reimbursement may be necessary, must obtain the approval of the cognizant Vice President.

The request for relocation reimbursement must demonstrate that the position is of such significance, and/or the candidate is so outstanding as to warrant the offer of a relocation reimbursement. The request must also show that sufficient funds are available to support the request. Under no circumstance is relocation reimbursement an entitlement or a regular part of the University's benefit package.

Relocation will be considered only if the prospective employee lives outside a 50-mile radius of the University, and will include only household goods; vehicles, animals, etc., are not included.

If the position is funded in whole or in part by grant or contract funds, the approval of the sponsoring agency must be obtained prior to the consideration of the cognizant Vice President.

If approved, relocation reimbursement up to a fixed, designated amount, which may not cover the entire cost, may be included in the appointment letter. The hiring manager will be responsible for informing the Employment Manager in the Office of Human Resources that the cognizant Vice President has approved relocation reimbursement and providing documentation of the approval and the amount approved. To be reimbursed, the employee must present to the Payroll Office the original receipts for costs incurred.

Alternatively, the University may initiate a contract directly with the carrier. The Employment Manager in the Office of Human Resources should contact Purchasing for assistance with a direct contract.

III.    Travel Costs and Household Effects Covered by this Policy

Reimbursement may be considered for:

  1. The actual cost of packing, crating, transporting, unpacking and uncrating household effects;
  2. Costs of moving effects to and from storage,
  3. Storage costs up to 30 days;
  4. Costs of connecting and disconnecting household appliances,
  5. "All-risk" replacement cost insurance, which should be arranged with the shipping agent or carrier;
  6. All or part of the expenses associated with a trip to the University area for the purpose of house hunting. Any such reimbursement must be approved in advance and incorporated into the appointment letter;
  7. En-route travel expenses and temporary living expenses for the new employee, spouse, and dependent children. Any such reimbursement must be approved in advance and incorporated into the appointment letter.

All moving expense payments must be submitted to Director of Payroll's attention. If it is an approved moving expense that can be paid directly to a vendor, the Director of Payroll will approve the payment through Accounts Payable.

IV.      Reimbursement Requirement

The offer of a relocation reimbursement should include the requirement of a commitment on the part of the employee to remain in the University's employ for a minimum of one year. If the employee voluntarily leaves the University for any reason the employee will be required to reimburse the University a pro-rated portion of the original reimbursement.

If approved as part of the relocation, one-way personal travel reimbursement may be offered to immediate family members, including spouse and dependent children. Such travel will be subject to the University's travel policy.

V.     Tax Implications

Departments should be aware that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires the University to report certain reimbursements and advances associated with the move as additional compensation income to the employee, subject to payroll and income taxes. Tax regulations related to moves change over time and in response to tax litigation.

No University employee should provide personal tax advice to the individual receiving reimbursement, but should direct the new employee to seek professional advice. University Payroll can tell the new employee what will be reported as income in their particular circumstances. The new employee should be encouraged to become familiar with IRS regulations in effect at the time and to consult IRS Publication 521 and other sources.

VI.     Reassignment Expenses

If reassignment of a faculty or staff member for official University purposes requires relocation, the University may pay the actual, reasonable, and necessary costs incurred, as approved by the cognizant vice president or dean, subject to a maximum agreed upon in writing in advance. Expenses incurred in connection with sabbaticals and leaves of absence will not be reimbursed.

VII.     Interview Travel

Recruitment travel by a prospective employee for purposes of interviews, etc., is not covered under this policy, but should conform to the guidelines in the University's Travel Policy.

Travel expenses in connection with employment interviews are authorized when necessary to acquire key personnel for employment at the University. Travel expenses are allowed to the extent authorized in a formal, written invitation to the prospective employee, as long as they do not exceed the budgeted resources available and are consistent with the policies and procedures established by the University.

Travel expenses of spouses accompanying prospective employees are also allowed to the extent authorized in the invitation. Invitations to include spouses in travel must be approved by the Associate Vice President/Chief Human Resources Officer. Requirements and limitations of grants and contracts apply.

VIII.     Temporary Housing

Payment of temporary housing as part of an employment agreement requires the approval of the cognizant vice president and is only done in extraordinary circumstances. Payment for temporary housing is made directly to the employee, who is responsible for payments to their landlord or other provider, and should be processed through Payroll.