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Allowance for Moving Expense Reimbursement

Date: February 17, 2015


I. PURPOSE

The purpose is to outline the moving reimbursement policy for Northern Illinois University. The University may agree to pay all or a portion of reasonable moving expenses for ordinary household goods of new employees when such action may be the determining factor in securing the services of highly qualified individuals. The University general revenue expenditure shall be the actual moving costs or the maximum amount so established, whichever is less.

II. POLICY

The term “employees,” as used herein, will include full-time faculty and administrative employees on regular appointment, full-time coaching staff, and selected Civil Service employees as approved by the President. In the case of Civil Service employees, the scope of recruitment required will be the primary criteria used in determining eligibility for such reimbursement. Requests to reimburse moving expenses for Civil Service employees should be made prior to formal hiring by the employing supervisor to the appropriate vice president, who will check with Human Resource Services before making a recommendation to the president.

Reimbursements for employees whose salaries are paid from general revenue funds will be made from a central general revenue account established for that purpose. Employees paid from other fund sources, i.e. local funds, grants and contracts, bond revenue, must be reimbursed from those sources.

State financial regulations require that general revenue reimbursements be paid from the proper fiscal year appropriation. To comply with these regulations, employees whose moves occur prior to June 30 must submit reimbursement requests before August 1.

Moving expenses for employees whose regular appointments are subject to the clearance of degree or permanent residency contingency should be submitted at the time of initial appointment.

The university is required to comply with all rules and regulations found in IRS Publication 521 and report moving expense reimbursements as part of the employee’s total W-2 or wage information statement. An employee who meets certain time and distance tests may qualify for a tax deduction. Justification of this deduction is the responsibility of the employee. Additionally, the IRS requires all moves to be closely related in time. As such, all moves must be completed within one year of an employee’s start date at the University.

The university offers two reimbursement options:

  • Professional Mover: The use of a professional moving company often makes moving much easier on employees and their families. If the employee uses a professional mover, the university will reimburse the employee for a maximum of $4,000 of the receipted costs of normal residence to residence household goods relocation to include containers and packing provided by the moving company as well as basic insurance coverage covered in the base cost of the move.
  • Self-Move: If the employee chooses to move by rental truck, trailer, or modular pod system, the university will reimburse the employee for 100% or a maximum of $1,500, whichever is less, of the receipted costs of:
    1. Trailer rental plus toll costs and ten cents per mile to cover the increase gasoline consumption occasioned by pulling the trailer.
    2. Truck rental plus the toll and gasoline expenses of operating the truck.
    3. Modular Pod rental and transportation costs.

The cost of receipted, consumable, packing materials is allowed for a self-move (i.e. packing tape, cardboard boxes, etc.). Durable packing materials will not be covered (locks, plastic bins, crates, etc.).

Reimbursement is limited to one payment per family and is not authorized for any part of the following:

  • Extra or supplemental insurance not already included in the base pricing of the moving or rental company.
  • Dolly rental, furniture blanket/pad rental, or the hiring of moving labor when using self-move option above.
  • Additional packing materials when utilizing a professional mover.
  • Car towing trailers to pull a vehicle behind a rented truck.
  • Shipping of goods through any other method than listed above, to include freight, FedEx, UPS, or USPS.
  • Storage, warehouse handling, or redelivery costs.
  • Hotel, motel, and meal expenses incurred by the employee and his/her family en route.
  • Automobiles shipped with household goods.
  • Gasoline expenses for private car (unless pulling a rented trailer instead of renting a truck).
  • Any labor expenses other that those appearing on a professional mover’s bill.
  • The costs of returning to the original point of departure and/or making two or more trips.
  • Cost associated with the transportation of livestock and household pets.
  • A vehicle rented from a car rental company such as Avis, Enterprise, etc. (even if the vehicle is a truck).

Those items for which transportation arrangements may be requested from the carrier, but whose additional costs are not included in the reimbursement options are as follows: autos, trucks, vans, motorcycles, farm equipment, tractors over 25 H.P., snowmobiles, golf carts, trailers, playhouses, sheds, hot tubs, spas, satellite dishes, airplanes/gliders, canoes/skiffs 14 ft. and over, boats/sailboats 14 ft. and over, boat trailers of any length, travel campers, mini/motor homes, and horse trailers.

The university assumes that most of its employees will reside in or near the DeKalb/Sycamore area. Ordinarily, the university will not reimburse expenses associated with moves which terminate in locations beyond a 50-mile radius of the campus. Circumstances, which might justify the modification or waiver of these guidelines, must be discussed with the appropriate vice president. The vice president or authorized designee will consult with Human Resource Services regarding the justification for the exemption. The exemption must be received by Human Resource Services in writing from the vice president before a formal hiring offer is made to the employee.

A Northern Illinois University Moving Allowance form may be procured from the Human Resource Services (www.hr.niu.edu) website. This form, with receipts and itemized statements showing zero balance due attached, must be signed and submitted before reimbursement can be approved.