Relocation Expenses

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Teachers College Policy Library

College Provided Relocation Expenses

Owner: Controller

URL: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/policylibrary/College Provided Relocation Expenses

I. PURPOSE

This policy governs the College’s policy on directly paying or providing a reimbursement for relocation expenses to faculty or administrative staff.

II. POLICY

Teachers College may decide to provide relocation expenses in order to facilitate the recruitment of a faculty member or high level member of the administrative staff. 

Approval
All payments of relocation costs for faculty need to be approved by the Office of the Provost and payment for non-faculty members need to be approved by the Vice President of Finance and Administration.

Allowable Costs
All expenses that are reasonable for the circumstances of the move may be made or reimbursed by the College.  These expenses fall into 2 general categories:
Moving household goods and personal effects. Examples of these items are:

  • In-transit storage expenses
  • Cost of packing, crating, and transporting household goods and personal effects and those of the members of the immediate household.
  • Costs of connecting or disconnecting utilities required because the candidate is moving household goods, appliances, or personal effects.
  • Cost of shipping a car or household pets to a new location

Traveling:

  • Cost of temporary lodging in route
  • Air fare for members of household
  • Per diem car allowance for travel by car
  • Costs of tolls

There are items which are not eligible to be paid by the College.  A representative list of these items are:

  • Meals while in transit or at old or new location.
  • Any part of the purchase price of a new home, apartment or condominium.
  • Car tags.
  • Driver's license.
  • Expenses of buying or selling a home (including closing costs, mortgage fees, and points).
  • Expenses of entering into or breaking a lease.
  • Home improvements to help sell a home.
  • Loss on the sale of a home.
  • Losses from disposing of memberships in clubs.
  • Mortgage penalties.
  • Pre-move househunting expenses.
  • Real estate taxes.
  • Refitting of carpet and draperies.
  • Return trips to old former residence.
  • Security deposits (including any given up due to the move).
  • Storage charges except those incurred in transit.

Distance Test
Although not necessary per this policy, the Teachers College working location must be at least 50 miles farther from the new employee’s former home than the employee’s main job location was from their former home.  This is known as the distance test per IRS publication 52.  If this distance test is not met, the relocation expenses will be deemed taxable and be subject to all payroll taxes.

Time Test
IRS publication 52 indicates that a new employee must remain in their position for 39 weeks or else the relocation expenses paid by Teachers College become taxable per the time test.  If this time test is not met, the relocation expenses will be deemed taxable and be subject to all payroll taxes. 

Processing of Relocation Expenses
All payments of relocation expenses should be submitted no later than 60 days after the expense was paid for processing through the College’s Payroll Office which will ensure consistent reporting and taxation per IRS guidelines.

Effective August 24, 2016