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Moving Expense Guide - MSP/PSS Non-Academic Positions

The information provided in this guide covers reimbursement of moving costs for employees in a Manager Senior Professional (MSP) or Professional Support Staff (PSS) position, either newly-hired or transferring from another UC campus.

Special requirements and restrictions may apply to some situations and/or some individuals. In these cases, Business and Finance Bulletin G-13 “Policy and Regulations Governing Moving Expenses” should be consulted for a complete explanation of moving-related rules and requirements. Please contact with questions or the FAST/AP Help line at 459-4488.​​

Employee relocation - non-taxable payment (Qualified)
Employee relocation cost - taxable payment (Non-Qualified)
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  • Before you start

    Ensure that all moving-related expenses are necessary, proper and reasonable.

    To minimize out-of-pocket expenditures, request payments be made directly to a vendor who is providing moving-related services.

    If this is the first time you will be receiving a UCSC non-payroll payment, complete a Payee_Setup_204.

    Note: Effective 10/15/17, MSP/PSS appointees can no longer recieve moving allowances. Ensure that the expenses you are planning on incurring are Reimburseable Costs before procuring goods or services.

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  • Eligibility

    General Requirements:

    A MSP or PSS member is eligible to receive reimbursement of reasonable moving-related expenses. Department heads are authorized to approve payment of actual moving expenses of new appointees and current employees eligible to receive such payments. A department may pay all or a portion of the expenses. The appropriate approval authority is to be consulted before the hiring unit offers such benefits.

    • New Appointee. To be eligible for reimbursement, the appointee’s position must require specialized training and/or experience of a technical, professional, or administrative nature. In addition, the new appointee must reside outside the commuting distance of the campus to which he or she has been appointed.

    Specific Requirements:

    1. New appointees - Reimbursement will be made to a current employee who is required to transfer.
    2. Reimbursement will be made to an employee who accepts a position at the same or a lower grade from another UC campus.

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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

    General Provisions:

    • Applies to an eligible employee in a MSP or PSS appointee
    • Only actual and reasonable costs will be reimbursed

    Repayment Provision: As applicable, an MSP or PSS appointee's offer letter must include a provision requiring up to 100% repayment of reimbursed moving and relocation expenses if the appointee voluntarily separates with less than a year of service.

    Reimbursable Expenses:

    • Primary Residence Selling Costs
      The University may reimburse actual and reasonable selling costs directly associated with the sale of the appointee’s former primary residence, if the residence must be sold to relocate to the new assignment. The amount of the reimbursement will depend on prevailing practices within the area of the sale. The sale of the residence must occur within twelve months of the appointee’s start date. Actual and reasonable selling costs must have documentation to be reimbursed and may include:
      • Brokerage commission, not to exceed 3% of the final sales price or $30,000, whichever is less
      • Non-recurring closing costs not to exceed 2% of the selling price, not to exceed $20,000, whichever is less
      • Mortgage prepayment penalties not to exceed $15,000
      • Miscellaneous seller’s costs customary to the area that may be reimbursed if determined appropriate by the University, not to exceed $10,000.
    • Settlement of unexpired lease
      • The amount of the reimbursement will not exceed six months of the lease or $25,000, whichever is less, including any penalty paid to terminate the lease.
    • Household goods and personal effects
      • From former to new primary residence
      • Includes packing, crating, transporting, unpacking, and uncrating
      • Includes installing items at the new primary residence
    • Storage and insurance while in transit
      • Applies to costs not exceeding thirty (30) consectuive calendar days
    • Travel expenses en route
      • For travel, meals, and lodging between former and new primary residence for the employee and his or her immediate family, but not to exceed the cost of air coach transportation.
      • BFB-G28 (Appendix A) includes applicable moving mileage rate
      • Expenses must conform to UC Travel Policy
    • Temporary lodging
      • Temporary lodging and food costs may be reimbursed for up to 30 days
      • If the temporary lodging location has cooking facilities, grocery costs may be reimbursed. If the temporary lodging does not have cooking facilities, meal reimbursements will be made in accordance with UC Travel policy – BFB G-28.

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  • Non-reimbursable expenses

    Expenses related to moving the following items are not reimbursable for any employee:

    • Assembly and disassembly of unusual items, such as swing sets, swimming pools, satellite dishes, hot tubs and storage sheds
    • Animals, except household pets normally and ordinarily kept or permitted in the appointee's personal residence
    • Building supplies
    • Canned, frozen, and bulk foods
    • Farm equipment
    • Firewood
    • Motorized recreational vehicles, such as boats, airplanes, camping vehicles, trailers, jet skis, etc.
    • Plants

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  • Receipt and documentation requirements

    The following receipts and documentation must be submitted with a request for payment or reimbursement of moving-related expenses:

    • Each expense must be listed in detail
    • As applicable, an original receipt or equivalent electronic receipt must be submitted in support of each expense
    • As applicable, a copy of your employement offer letter

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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.

    • 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 total amount of moving expenses reimbursed to you and/or paid to a third-party vendor on your behalf is considered to be

    • Taxable income for Federal tax purposes and reported as earnings on your W-2.
    • Subject to applicable Federal and California income tax, Social Security and Medicare tax withholding.

    As a result of tax law changes implemented January 1st, 2018, all moving expenses became taxable for Federal income tax purposes; however, California did not adopt the Federal changes. If you have specific tax related questions, please consult with Accounting Services Director Ed Moran.

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  • Funding restrictions

    Removal expenses for persons whose appointment is funded entirely from extramural funds must be paid from non-State funds.

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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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  • Where to get help

    Assistance is available for your moving expense-related questions at

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  • Moving expense summary information

    The following chart provides a summary of reimbursement, accounting, and tax information related to moving expenses for eligible non-academic employees. 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 MSP/PSS Positions % Reimbursable SMG Positions % Reimbursable W-2 Reported Taxable Income
    House Hunting
    House hunting (travel, lodging, meals, rental car, and all other related expenses not to exceed G-28 allowances 004540 Exceptional approval 100% Yes
    Items Shipped
    Household goods and personal effects, including packing & unpacking *** 004520 100% 100% Yes
    Motor vehicle transport (up to two vehicles)** 004520 100% 100% Yes
    Storage charges - non-transit-related up to 30 days after removal from former primary residence 004540 100% 100% Yes
    Enroute Travel
    Airfare 004520 100% 100% Yes
    Automobile (private) mileage - paid at the rate allowed by policy 004520 Not to exceed cost of air coach transportation 100% Yes
    Automobile (private) mileage - paid in excess of moving rate 004540 Exceptional approval Exceptional approval Yes
    Rental car 004540 Exceptional approval 100% Yes
    Rental van (to include fuel & related expenses) 004520 100% 100% Yes
    Taxi 004520 100% 100% Yes
    Parking/tolls 004520 100% 100% Yes
    Enroute Meals & Incidentals
    Meals & incidentals not to exceed BFB G-28 “UC Policy and Regulations Governing Travel” allowance rates 004540 100% 100% Yes
    Enroute Lodging
    Lodging en route (room & tax only) 004520 100% 100% Yes
    Temporary Lodging at Destination
    Storage charges - in-transit or foreign move 004520 100% 100% Yes
    Temporary lodging quarters up to 30 days in the area of the new job location. 004540 100% 100% Yes
    Meals only if temporary quarters do not have cooking facilities. Costs not to exceed G-28 allowances 004540 100% 100% Yes
    Pets (household) - Kennel charges not included 004520 100% 100% Yes
    Passport processing (employee only) 004520 Exceptional approval 100% Yes
    Utilities disconnection and connection 004520 Exceptional approval 100% Yes

    ** Does not include any recreational vehicles, e.g., boats, canoes, kayaks, camping vehicles, snow machines, jet skis, etc.

    *** Must use a common carrier from the University's preferred vendors list

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