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Moving Expense Guide - New Academic Appointee

The information provided in this guide is intended to assist a new appointee to a UCSC academic position in obtaining reimbursement of or payment for moving expenses. Special requirements and restrictions may apply to some situations.

In these cases, UC Academic Personnel Manual Section 560 Recruitment Removal Expenses/General should be consulted for a complete explanation of moving expense-related rules and requirements.  Please contact with questions or the FAST/AP Help line at 459-4488.

Moving_Relocation_Reimbursement.pdfWritable PDFMoving_Relocation_Reimbursement
Payee_Setup_204.pdfWritable PDFPayee_Setup_204
Vendor_Electronic_Funds_Authorization.pdfWritable PDFVendor_Electronic_Funds_Authorization
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  • Before you start

    • Reasonable moving-related expenses, including travel, may be partially reimbursed.
    • Moving-related expenses of a personal library or laboratory may be fully reimbursed if the library or laboratory will be made generally available to students and faculty.
    • If this is the first time you will be receiving a UCSC non-payroll payment, complete a Payee_Setup_204.

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  • Eligibility

    These positions are eligible to receive reimbursement of moving-related expenses:

    • Professor series
    • Astronomer series
    • Professor in residence series
    • Supervisor of Physical Education series
    • Continuing Education Specialist series
    • Field Work Supervisor
    • Supervisor of Teacher Education
    • Supervisor of Teaching
    • University Librarian, and Assistant or Associate University Librarian
    • Other positions as described in Academic Personnel Manual Section 560-14 “Eligibility”

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  • Authorization

    A moving expense reimbursement request is approved by a department head with the appropriate delegated authority.

    • A division head may redelegate authority in writing to a direct report to approve non-exceptional moving expenses.
    • Reimbursement of moving-related expenses that are exceptions to policy must be approved by the appropriate Dean, Campus Provost / Executive Vice Chancellor, or Chancellor. Refer to Appendix: Moving expense summary information for a list of expenses requiring exceptional approval.

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  • Reimbursable costs

    A reimbursement is provided to a household and not to an individual member of it. As a result, reimbursement may not exceed more than one-half of the actual moving expenses even if more than one member of the same household may at the same time be appointed to the Santa Cruz campus staff.

    • One-half of the following costs may be reimbursed:
      • Packing, insurance, and freight of household goods.
      • Actual cost of airfare and meals en route, or the equivalent amount, for the appointee and non-employee members of household may be reimbursed.
        • A “Member of household” is any person residing in the taxpayer’s residence other than a tenant or employee of the tenant, and has both the taxpayer’s old residence and new residence as his or her principal place of abode.
        • Refer to the UCSC Travel Guide for more detailed information about UC travel rules.
    • The payment or reimbursement of costs associated with any of the following move-related expenses requires approval by the Chancellor, or authorized designee:
      • Rental car
      • Personal automobile shipping
      • House hunting
      • Temporary living expenses up to 30 days
      • Household goods storage charges up to 30 days
    • The full cost of the following may be reimbursed:
      • Moving of an appointee’s personal library or laboratory if the library or laboratory is to be made generally available to students and faculty.

    If you leave UC employment within 39 weeks of starting work, any moving/relocation expense reimbursement payments made to you will be considered taxable compensation, subject to all mandatory payroll deductions.

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  • Using your personal automobile

    Important information to know if you use your personal automobile to relocate:

    Reimbursement rates are updated annually or semi-annually, with new rates taking effect for expenses incurred either on or after January 1 or July 1 as applicable. Applicable mileage reimbursement rates related to moving are listed in UC BFB G-28 Policy and Regulations Governing Travel (Appendix A).

    Note: The reimbursement for the cost of meals related to using a personal automobile to relocate is limited to the extent the meals would have been necessary if travel had been by airplane.

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  • Obtaining reimbursement

    All moving-related expenses must be accounted for on a completed, signed, and approved Moving_Relocation_Reimbursement form:

    1. Attach original receipts for ALL relocation expenses to the form to substantiate each expense’s reasonableness. The following are examples of expenditures requiring a receipt.
      • Airfare
      • Lodging
      • Rental car or van
      • Taxi or ground transportation
      • Parking/Tolls
      • Meals & incidentals
      • Professional movers (Household, Library, Vehicle)
      • House hunting expenses (lodging, meals, rental car, etc.)
      • Temporary living expenses (lodging, meals, rental car)
      • Storage charges
      • Miscellaneous expenses (packing supplies, shipping, etc.)
    2. Attach a copy of your employment offer letter to the form. The letter must show the job title and moving allowance authorized.
    3. Forward the completed and signed form, along with receipts, and supporting documentation to the Divisional Funding Authorizer, who is responsible for reviewing and approving the report.
      • A divisional funding authorizer is usually a supervisor, department chair, or senior campus official, who has been officially delegated authority to approve the funding for the payment of your moving-related expenses.

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  • Payments made directly to a vendor

    Having a payment made directly by UCSC to a vendor for moving-related services, such as shipment or storage of household effects, reduces out-of-pocket expenditures and the risk of a personal tax liability.

    • Use a common carrier from the University’s preferred vendor list. Request that a purchase requisition be processed in the CruzBuy system. For more information, refer to the Procurement Services website.

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  • Tax considerations

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all of the following conditions be met in order for a moving expense reimbursement or move-related payment made directly to vendors to be treated as non-taxable:

    • The moving expense must be incurred within one year from the time you first report to the new job, even if the appointment is effective prior to the report date.
    • You must be employed full-time for at least 39 weeks during the 12-month period immediately following the move.
    • The distance from your UCSC job location must be at least 50 miles farther than the distance between your old job location and your former principal residence. For example, if your old job location was 5 miles from your former residence, the distance from your UCSC job location must be at least 55 miles from your former residence.

    The IRS requires that the following common, moving-related expense reimbursements be reported as taxable income, subject to payroll tax withholding and Form W-2 reporting.

    • Meals and incidentals while moving from the old to the new residence
    • Temporary living expenses up to 30 days, including meals and lodging
    • Rental car, while the primary automobile is being shipped to the new location
    • Pre-move house hunting, including travel, meals and lodging
    • Household goods storage charges, except those incurred in transit and for moves from foreign countries, for up to 30 days

    If you leave UC employment within 39 weeks of starting work, any moving/relocation expense reimbursement payments made to you will be considered taxable compensation, subject to all mandatory payroll deductions.

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  • Funding sources that can be used

    This funding limitation applies to the payment of moving expenses of extramurally-funded appointees:
    State funds (“19900”) may not be used.

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  • Speed up getting your payment by avoiding these common oversights

    • Forgetting to obtain the signature of a division head for approval of the reimbursement of expenses that are exceptions to policy.
    • Forgetting to sign the forms
    • Forgetting to attach original receipts to forms
    • Forgetting to submit a Payee_Setup_204

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  • Policy references

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  • Distance test

    This test is used to determine whether or not moving expenses can be deducted.

    1. Enter the number of miles from your old home to your new workplace Miles
    2. Enter the number of miles from your old home to your old workplace Miles
    3. Subtract line 2 from line 1. If zero or less, enter -0-.
    Is line 3 at least 50 miles?
    4. Yes. You meet this test.
    No. You do not meet this test. You cannot deduct your moving expenses.

    Note: Members of the Armed Forces may not have to meet this test. See Members of the Armed Forces

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  • Where to get help

    Assistance is available for your moving expense-related questions at:

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  • Academic Moving Expense Summary Information

    The following chart provides a summary of reimbursement, accounting, and tax information related to moving expenses for eligible new academic appointees. If you leave UC employment within 39 weeks of starting work, any moving/relocation expense reimbursement payments made to you will be considered taxable compensation, subject to all mandatory payroll deductions.

    Moving-related Expense UCSC Account Code % Reimbursable W-2 Reported Taxable Income
    Airfare 004520 50% No
    Private automobile mileage - paid at the rate allowed by policy 004520 50% No
    Private automobile mileage - paid in excess of the rate allowed by policy 004540 Exceptional approval Yes*
    Rental car 004540 Exceptional approval Yes
    Rental van (to include fuel & related expenses) 004520 50% No
    Taxi 004520 50% No
    Parking/tolls 004520 50% No
    Lodging (room & tax only) 004520 50% No
    Meals & incidentals not to exceed BFB G-28 “UC Policy and Regulations Governing Travel” allowance rates 004540 50% Yes
    Personal household goods to include packing & unpacking 004520 50% No
    Professional library if made available to students and faculty and laboratory equipment and supplies if ownership transfers to UCSC 004520 100% No
    Shipping of personal auto 004520 Exceptional approval No
    Storage charges - non-transit-related 004540 Exceptional approval Yes
    Storage charges - in-transit or foreign move 004520 Exceptional approval No
    Temporary living expenses up to 30 days for meals and lodging while occupying temporary quarters in the area of the new job location not to exceed G-28 allowances 004540 Exceptional approval Yes
    House hunting (travel, lodging, meals, rental car, and all other related expenses not to exceed G-28 allowances 004540 Exceptional approval Yes

    * Amount paid in excess of the allowable rate is taxable income reportable on Form W-2.

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