UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 05-07-02

CATEGORY:              FINANCIAL AFFAIRS

SECTION:                  Business Expenses

SUBJECT:                 Moving Expenses -- Household Goods

EFFECTIVE DATE:   November 18, 2010 Revised

PAGE(S):                  6

I.    SCOPE

      This policy is to establish a basis for reimbursement of household and personal moving

      expenses when University funds including unrestricted, restricted, and endowment funds

      are to be expended for the relocation of full-time faculty, librarians, and administrative and

      professional staff who are newly hired by the University or are being transferred to a new

      University location.

II.   POLICY

      Authorization by a Dean, Director, Regional President, Vice Chancellor, Associate Vice

      Chancellor, Senior Vice Chancellor, Provost, Executive Vice Chancellor, or Chancellor,

      holding a superior position to the relocating employee, must be granted prior to offering

      moving expense benefits to a relocating employee.

III.  GENERAL PROVISIONS

      -     All moving service requests are to be arranged through the Department of Parking,

            Transportation and Services, (412) 624-4433, (E-mail:  travel@bc.pitt.edu) who will

            assign the move to a reliable moving firm, pending the acceptance of the relocating

            employee.  Do not call the moving company directly.  All moves must be

            authorized to the moving company through the Department of Parking,

            Transportation and Services.  If the relocating employee selects a moving

            company that is not University certified, the relocating employee assumes the

            responsibility for the planning, preparation, and execution of their move.  The relocating

            employee is responsible to pay associated costs and may receive reimbursement for

            actual expenses by submitting a properly completed and authorized Travel &

            Business Expense Report, to their Departmental Administrator, supported with original

            receipts indicating paid in full.

      -     Reocating employees wishing to "self-haul" (rent a truck, pack, load, unload, etc.)

            may do so without contacting the Department of Parking, Transportation and Services. 

            The relocating employee is responsible to pay costs associated with this type of move

            and may receive reimbursement for actual expenses by submitting a properly completed

            and authorized Travel & Business Expense Report, to their Departmental Administrator,

            supported with original receipts indicating paid in full.

      -     All commitments for moving and interview expenses must be made from existing funds

            available to the employing department.

      -     Relocation of laboratory, library, scholarly collection, or research equipment will not

            be considered household goods or personal effects to the extent that these items are

            relocated to University premises.  These expenses are considered ordinary and

            necessary business expenses of the University.

      -     Personal travel from a former residence to the first new place of residence may be

            reimbursed in accordance with Policy 05-07-01, Travel & Business Expenses.

      -     Personal travel for the purpose of looking for a new residence may be reimbursed in

            accordance with Policy 05-07-01, Travel & Business Expenses.  However, the

            reimbursement to the individual for such expenses is taxable income for federal income

            tax purposes.

      -     Exceptions to any provision of this policy require written approval from one of the

            following:

            -     Chancellor

            -     Executive Vice Chancellor

            -     Senior Vice Chancellor

            -     Chief Financial Officer

            -     Secretary of the Board of Trustees and Assistant Chancellor

            -     Provost

            -     Regional President

            -     Dean

            -     Academic Director

      Requests for policy exceptions must move upward through each level of the reporting

      structure related to the individual desiring exception to this policy.  Requests for policy

      exception must not be forwarded directly to one of the above listed individuals if such an

      action passes over a level in the organization's reporting structure.

IV.  ELIGIBILITY

      Only individuals accepting full-time positions, who have agreed to work for at least one

      year, are eligible to be offered moving expense benefits.  Individuals who receive moving

      expense benefits, but who voluntarily terminate employment prior to completing one year

      of service, will be required to return to the University the moving expense benefit received.

      The Academic Dean/Director whose account paid for the employee's move has the

      responsibility to immediately notify the University's Payroll Office, (412) 624-8079, and

      collect the above mentioned benefit from the individual terminating employment.  The

      effective date of employment cannot be earlier than the date the individual actually begins

      work at the University.

V.   ALLOWABLE EXPENSES FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS RELOCATION

      -     Transportation charges for the movement of household goods.

      -     Packing and unpacking charges except dates and times when overtime rates are

            charged.

      -     Packing containers.

      -     Insurance fees for coverage up to $75,000 full replacement valuation.

            Note:  Although the University includes this insurance coverage as an allowable

            expense, the processing of claims and resolution of any disputes regarding

            damaged goods must be resolved by the employee directly with the moving

            company.

      -     Storage fees, limited to 30 days at origin or destination, but not both.

      -     Extra pickups and deliveries.

      -     Normal services of major appliances (defined as stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer,

            window air conditioning, etc.) to ensure safe transport and normal destination service

            (installation) for those items prepared for transportation at the origin of move.  Special

            electrical or plumbing services in excess of regular services required to connect or

            disconnect appliance is not allowable.

VI.  NON-ALLOWABLE EXPENSES FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS RELOCATION

      -     Loading or unloading, packing or unpacking on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays or other

            times when overtime rates are charged.

      -     Transportation of currency, money, coins, bullion, notes, securities, stock, stamps, wills,

            precious stones, jewelry, furs, and other articles or collections of extraordinary value.

      -     Moving alcoholic beverages, boats, recreational vehicles or equipment, trailers

            (camping or smaller), mobile homes, rock collections, household plants, shrubbery,

            firewood, lumber, bricks, or other items not normally considered as household effects.

      -     Shipment of firearms, explosives, or other dangerous articles is prohibited by law.

      -     Moving buildings such as storage buildings, covered patios, etc.

      -     Transportation and related expenses for pets or animals.

      -     Moving frozen or perishable items requiring special refrigeration service.

      -     Shipment by moving van of a personal vehicle.

      -     Exclusive use of moving van (immediate delivery with no stops to include other shippers'

            goods when weight of your goods does not meet minimum weight requirements of the

            van).

      -     Disassembling or assembling pool tables, children's playhouses, storage buildings,

            shelving, worktables or counters, swing sets, swimming pools, TV antennae or cable

            hook up, and draining of waterbeds.

      -     Housecleaning, cleaning of rugs or draperies, maid service.

      -     Removing or installing wall-to-wall carpet, drapes, mirrors, or related items.

      -     Special electrical or plumbing services in excess of regular services required to connect

            or disconnect appliance.

      -     Temporary living expenses, e.g., lodging, meals, etc.

      -     Real estate transactions such as selling (or settling an unexpired lease on) the old

            residenceand buying (or acquiring a new lease on) the new residence, real estate taxes,

            financing, mortgage penalties, etc.

      The above list of non-allowable expenses serves as a guide and is not to be considered all

      inclusive.  All household goods relocation expenses are subject to review by the Director of

      Parking, Transportation and Services.

VII. TAXES

      Federal Taxes

      The United States Internal Revenue Service tax code for household goods relocation

      expenses (IRS Publication 521) identifies the deductibility of moving expenses for individuals. 

      When the University is paying for or reimbursing relocation expenses, the tax code is used to

      determine if the expenses are taxable income to the relocating employee.

      If the University pays for or reimburses a relocating employee for a deductible expense, the

      expense is a non-taxable fringe benefit.

      If the University pays for or reimburses a relocating employee for a non-deductible expense,

      the expense is taxable income that will be reported on Form W-2 and will be subject to FICA

      taxes.

      If the University does not pay for or reimburse a relocating employee for a deductible expense,

      the employee may be able to deduct the expense on their federal income tax return.  (See Form

      3903 and IRS Publication 521).  For further clarification the relocating employee should contact

      their personal tax consultant.

      Reimbursements for a moving expense must be supported by original receipts documenting

      that the expense as incurred.

      What follows are excerpts from IRS Publication 521 – Moving Expenses:

      Who May Deduct Moving Expenses

      You may deduct your moving expenses if you meet all three of the following requirements.

      Move Related to Start of Work

 

      Your move must be closely related, both in time and in place, to the start of work at your new

      job location.

      Closely related in time

      You can generally consider moving expenses incurred within 1 year from the date you first

      reported to work at the new location as closely related in time to the start of work.  It is not

      necessary that you arrange to work before moving to a new location, as long as you actually

      go to work in that location.

      Closely related in place

      You can generally consider your move closely related in place to start of work if the distance

      from your new home to the new job location is not more than the distance from your former

      home to the new job location.  If your move does not meet this requirement, you may still be

      able to deduct moving expenses if you can show that:

              location.

 

      Home defined

      Your home means your main home (residence). Your former home means your home before

      you left for your new job location.  Your new home means your home within the area of your

      new job location.

      Distance Test

      Your move will meet the distance test if your new main job location is at least 50 miles farther

      from your former home than your old main job location was from your former home.  For

      example, if your old main job location was 3 miles from your former home, your new main job

      location must be at least 53 miles from that former home.

      Deductible Moving Expenses

              storage expenses), and

      Reasonable expenses

      You can deduct only those expenses that are reasonable for the circumstances of your move.

      For example, the cost of traveling from your former home to your new one should be by the

      shortest, most direct route available by conventional transportation.

      Travel by car

      If you use your car to take yourself, members of your household, or your personal effects to

      your new home, you can figure your expenses by deducting either:

              keep an accurate record of each expense, or

      Deductible: parking fees and tolls you pay to move.

      Non-Deductible: repairs, maintenance, insurance, or depreciation for your car.

      Member of your household

      You can deduct moving expenses you pay for yourself and members of your household.  A

      member of your household is anyone who has both your former and new home as his or her

      home.  It does not include a tenant or employee, unless that person is your dependent.

      Household goods and personal effects

      Deductible:

              (including household goods and personal effects (including household goods and personal

              effects of members of your household)

      Storage expenses

      You can include the cost of storing and insuring household goods and personal effects within

      any period of 30 consecutive days after the day your things are moved from your former home

      and before they are delivered to your new home.

      Travel expenses

      Deductible:

      The cost of transportation and lodging for yourself and members of your household while

      traveling from your former home to your new home.  This includes expenses for the day you

      arrive.

      Nondeductible expenses

      You cannot deduct the following items as moving expenses.

VIII. DEFINITIONS

      Newly Hired Employee:  A person who is accepting full-time employment, with the University

      of Pittsburgh, as faculty, librarian, or administrative/professional staff.

      Transfer Employee:  A person currently employed at the University of Pittsburgh who has

      accepted a position as faculty, librarian, or administrative/professional staff at another

      University of Pittsburgh location.

IX.  REFERENCES

      Policy 05-07-01, Travel & Business Expenses

      Procedure 05-07-02, Moving Expenses--Household Goods