415: Relocation and Moving

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 02/01/1982
Revised: 7/15/2014

When new employees are hired by the University it may be necessary to offer a relocation allowance to employ qualified personnel.  Only Unclassified and Classified employees (C1 and C3 appointments) are eligible to receive reimbursement for relocation and moving expenses.  Appointments other than Unclassified and Classified employees are not eligible to receive these reimbursements. The maximum amount to be paid by the unit must be included in the new employee offer letter.

An OSU Relocation/Moving Agreement must be completed and submitted to Business Affairs prior to expenses being incurred. If expenses will be paid using gift, grant or contract funds, then approval by the Office of Post Award Administration [OPAA] must be obtained on the OSU Relocation/Moving Agreement.

Relocating employees must move at their own expense. They will be reimbursed for non-taxable expenses after a person/vendor record is created for them in Banner FIS. Taxable reimbursements must be processed with actual wages. Therefore, taxable reimbursements cannot be processed until the employee begins working for OSU and has an employee JOB record established in the Banner HRIS module.

Certain payments can be made to a vendor directly on behalf of the employee – see FIS 415-05 Procedures. All payments are subject to taxation whether made to a vendor on behalf of the employee or directly to the employee as a reimbursement.  Taxability is determined by Business Affairs based on criteria set forth in the OUS Fiscal Policy Manual, Section: Fringe Benefits, Moving Expenses 66.200 and Internal Revenue Service Moving Publication 521. This policy meets the requirements of an IRS Accountable Plan.

415-01: House Hunting

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 415: Relocation and Moving
Effective: 02/01/1982
Revised: 0625/2012

House hunting expenses are those incurred by the employee in the process of finding a temporary or permanent home in the new work location.

See Reimbursements for rates and receipt requirements.  All house hunting expenses are taxable to the employee.

Allowable house hunting expenses include:

  • House Hunting Transportation Between New and Old Location
    • Airfare – up to two round trips (two round trips for one individual or one round trip for two individuals)
      OR
    • Private vehicle mileage – reimbursed at the rate per mile, up to two round trips
      OR
    • Rental vehicle – cost of rental vehicle plus fuel, up to two round trips
  • House Hunting Transportation in Vicinity of New Location:
    • Private vehicle mileage – reimbursed at the rate per mile, up to 200 miles in the vicinity of new location
      OR
    • Rental vehicle – cost of rental vehicle plus fuel
  • Meals and Lodging: reimbursed at a rate up to OUS per diem, up to a total of ten days of meal and lodging expenses for the employee and any household members. Total is combined with moving trips – for example, the employee takes four(4) days for house hunting, they will have six(6) days left to claim for moving.
  • Salary while House hunting: up to ten days, if house hunting occurs after start date (total is combined with moving)
  • Miscellaneous Travel Costs:
    • Transportation to/from the airport
    • Baggage fees

415-02: Temporary Living

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 415: Relocation and Moving
Effective: 02/01/1982
Revised: 0625/2012

Temporary living expenses are those incurred after the employee’s start date as a result of a temporary living arrangement prior to a permanent home being secured.

See FIS 415-04 Reimbursements for rates and receipt requirements.  All temporary living expenses are taxable to the employee.

Allowable temporary living expenses include:

  • Meals: reimbursed at OUS per diem rate, up to 45 days of meal and incidental expenses for the employee and any household members.
  • Lodging: reimbursed up to OUS per diem rate, up to 45 days of lodging expenses for the employee and any household members.
    • Commercial Lodging – reimbursed at actual cost up to OUS per diem, per lodging receipts
    • Rental Property – Rental fee is prorated on an average daily amount over the 45 day timeframe. 

415-03: Moving

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 415: Relocation and Moving
Effective: 02/01/1982
Revised: 0625/2012

Relocating, or moving, expenses are those incurred as a result of moving to a new location for employment.

See Reimbursements for rates and receipt requirements.  Certain moving expenses are taxable to the employee.

For new employees teaching summer session only, travel costs for one round trip may be reimbursed when necessary to employ qualified personnel.

Allowable moving expenses include:

  • Moving Transportation Between New and Old Location
    • Airfare – up to two one-way trips
      OR
    • Private vehicle mileage – reimbursed at the rate per mile, up to two one-way trips
      OR
    • Rental vehicle – cost of rental vehicle plus fuel
  • Meals and Lodging: reimbursed at a rate up to OUS per diem rate, up to a total of ten days of meal and lodging expenses for the employee and any household members. Total is combined with house hunting trips – for example, the employee takes four(4) days for house hunting, they will have six(6) days left to claim for moving.
  • Salary while moving: up to ten days, if moving occurs after start date (total is combined with house hunting)
  • Moving personal effects (reimbursed at actual expense):
    • Packing, including packing supplies (boxes, tape, etc) – up to $1,000
    • Commercial moving company
    • Insurance on personal effects
    • Storage – up to 90 days
  • Miscellaneous expenses – up to $1,500 (reimbursed at actual expense):
    • Might include
      • Closing costs
      • Utility hookups
    • Does not include
      • Refundable deposits
      • Household furnishings or décor

415-04: Reimbursements

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 415: Relocation and Moving
Effective: 02/01/1982
Revised: 05/05/2013

An employee must submit a request for reimbursement of relocation expenses within six months following their start date. Extensions up to six months must be approved in writing by the department head. Any expenses submitted after 12 months are fully taxable.

The total of all employee reimbursements and direct vendor payments are limited to the amount set forth in the offer letter.

Expenses will be reimbursed on a per diem basis for meals and mileage, and up to per diem for lodging. All other expenses will be reimbursed at actual cost, based on receipt requirements. See the OUS Moving Expense Summary Table.

Receipt Requirements -

  • Meals – reimbursed at current per diem rates; no receipts required
  • Mileage – reimbursed at current OUS mileage rate, for the most direct, usually traveled route; use the OUS Mileage Chart within the OUS Fiscal Policy Manual, Travel and Transportation Administration and Expenses 95.100, FIS Ex003-02 Mileage Chart for Cities Outside Oregon, or actual odometer readings.
  • Lodging – lodging receipts are required and must show proof of payment
  • Expenditures reimbursed at cost; appropriate documentation and proof of payment required.

Note: Original receipts and documentation must be retained by the University. Lost receipt affidavits will not be accepted as documentation for expenses.

415-05: Procedures

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 415: Relocation and Moving
Effective: 02/01/1982
Revised: 08/22/2013

Prior to the Move

Note: Employees are to relocate at their own expense. The maximum amount allowable for reimbursement must be included in the new employee offer letter. 

  1. After receiving the signed offer letter, the OSU Relocation/Moving Agreement   must be signed by the hiring unit and forwarded to the appropriate Business Center for processing. The Business Center must then submit the completed agreement form to Business Affairs, Financial Accounting & Analysis (FA&A) prior to any expenses being incurred. The Agreement can be found on OSCAR.
    1. If expenses will be paid using gift, grant or contract funds, approval by Office of Post Award Administration [OPAA] must be obtained on the OSU Relocation/Moving Agreement. 
    2. If moving expenses include the services of a commercial moving company and total $5,000 or more, a copy of the approved OSU Relocation/Moving Agreement must be submitted to the Business Center Purchasing Department for creation of a Purchase Order no more than 60 days prior to the employee start date. A list of contracted moving companies is maintained on the Procurement and Contract Services’ (PaCS) Buy Orange website. 
  2. The OSU Relocation/Moving Agreement becomes part of the employee’s hiring package and is considered confidential.

After the Move

Reminder: Expenses cannot be reimbursed until the employee has a joint relationship with OSU, which means their employee record has been set up in Banner by Human Resources and Payroll.

Employee Reimbursements

  1. An employee must submit a request for reimbursement of relocation expenses to their Business Center within six months following their start date.
  2. The reimbursement can either be submitted using the Travel Reimbursement Entry System (TRES) or Relocation Expense Reimbursement Form found in OSCAR.
  3. In TRES or on the Relocation Expense Reimbursement Form, detail the relocation process (Who, What, When, Where, Why) and categorize each of the expenses incurred as appropriate (i.e. house hunting, temporary living, moving from old to new location).
  4. Forward the signed TRES/reimbursement form, along with applicable original receipts and documentation to Business Affairs/FA&A.
    Note: If TRES is used to process a relocation reimbursement, transfer the completed T-document to the “Accounts Payable” inbox in the TRES system.
    1. Business Affairs/FA&A will:
      1. Review for appropriateness, account code use and categorize the expenses as taxable or non-taxable, then return the TRES document or Reimbursement form with notes and approval.
      2. Scan all final documents related to the move into Nolij as “Confidential” document type.
      3. Create a Payroll Submission Form and submit taxable expenses for reimbursement to Central Payroll for inclusion on employee’s next payroll check.
  5. Once the TRES or Reimbursement form is reviewed by FA&A and returned to the Business Center, create a Banner invoice for the non-taxable portion of the reimbursement as noted by FA&A. The completed I-document will route through the appropriate approval queues.
    1. To create an invoice from a TRES T-document, click the “Create Invoice” button at the bottom of the TRES form.
    2. If TRES was not used, create an invoice in BANNER using the Invoice Entry Form FAAINVE.

Vendor Payments

Payments made directly to vendors are allowed for commercial moving companies. The appropriate account code to use is 10790- Moving-Employee-Non-Taxable.

Prior approval by FA&A is required for direct billing of other expenses related to relocation, including lodging and airfare. The appropriate account code to use will depend on the taxability of the expense; FA&A will provide assistance in determining the proper account code.

Due to financial risk, if direct billing is used, it should not be done more than 60 days prior to the employees start date.

Direct Vendor Payments

  1. The Business Center will enter an invoice in BANNER. 
  2. The invoice will route through FA&A for approval in BANNER.

AutoPay Vendor Payments

  1. Contact FA&A for prior approval and account code.
  2. Provide proper account code to the vendor when authorizing the expense.