Moving Expense Policy
New Mexico Tech (NMT) recognizes that payment or reimbursement of the costs associated with the relocating of new employees may be an important consideration in the recruitment process. Moving expenses may be paid or reimbursed to benefit the recruitment effort when funds are available. All commitments to pay moving expenses must be approved by the appropriate university vice president or research institute director. This policy is intended to establish maximum reimbursement levels and payment procedures. It is recognized that the allowed moving expense benefit may not provide full reimbursement for each type of cost incurred by the new employee during the move.
“Moving expenses” are defined as the actual expense of transporting the household goods of your main home, transporting the personal effects, as well as expenses of packing, crating, storing and insurance for such goods. Moving expenses also include the travel expenses of the employee and members of the household one way to the new employment location. “Household goods” includes the employee’s professional library and professional collections. “Members of the household” is anyone who has both your former home and new home as his/her home.
The responsibility for administration of the policy rests with the appropriate vice president and institute director. The new employee is responsible for reading IRS Publication 521, and also to understand when they have incurred non-reimbursed expenses that may be claimed as a deduction on their personal tax return. Moving expense policy interpretation and procedural issues may be addressed with the federal tax compliance manager.
NMT Allowable Expenditures
The policy covers the reasonable expenses of the employee and members of their household for:
- Moving your household goods and personal effects (including storage expenses) from your main home, moving household pets,
- Traveling to your new home,
- Temporary living expenses at the new location,
- One house hunting trip
Payments for costs allowed under IRS Publication 521 – Moving Expenses is classified as a business expenses and not taxable. Payments for moving costs not allowed by the IRS are classified as taxable employee compensation. Federal and State of NM taxes on compensation will be withheld on a future paycheck. Payments to an individual who terminated employment and did not meet the IRS time test for employees are classified as employee compensation on their annual W-2 form.
See the chart in the Income Tax Obligation section below for a summary of what type of cost reimbursement is taxable compensation.
Types of Costs
The cost of a professional moving service is allowed. The cost of shipping a personal vehicle is allowed. The costs incurred in a self-service move such as equipment rental, truck fuel, labor to load and unload, packing supplies, and shipping expenses are allowed.
The cost of driving a personal or rented vehicle is allowed, based on the most direct
route from your former home to your new home. Mileage is reimbursed at actual cost
of gas and oil, or the mileage rate stated in the “Business Office Travel Policy”,
at the employee’s discretion. Parking fees and tolls while in transit are allowed.
Air transportation costs will be reimbursed from the employee’s former home to your
new home. Temporary transportation such as a rental car may be reimbursed if the new
employee will be without transportation due to relocation. If this benefit is used
in excess of seven days, prior written approval is required.
Storage and insurance for household goods and personal effects is allowable for up to 60 days.
The actual cost of lodging during the move is allowed. If the employee stays at the personal residence of a friend/relative, the lodging component of NMT’s travel per diem amount is allowed.
The meal and incidental expense allowance for the days en route is the amount defined in the NMT Business Office Travel procedures. The Travel Office procedures for per diems in high cost cities also apply.
Temporary housing expenses are incurred when a relocating employee is unable to obtain use of permanent housing upon arrival at the new job location. This expense may be limited by the vice president or institute director’s office. If this benefit is used in excess of seven days, prior written approval is required. Allowable amount follows the limits for lodging for New Mexico in-state travel in the NMT Business Office Travel Policy.
One house-hunting trip is allowed. Reimbursement of expenses follows the limits for New Mexico in-state travel in the NMT Business Office Travel Policy.
This list is not intended to be all-inclusive. New Mexico Tech may at any time determine that an expense submitted is excessive or unallowable.
- Amounts in excess of the maximum agreed upon with the appropriate vice president.
- Expenses incurred prior to the date on the offer of employment
- Moving animals; recreational vehicle such as a camper or boat
- Real estate transaction costs; lease termination fees
Income Tax Obligation
The benefit amount that exceeds the IRS allowed moving expenses is classified as taxable compensation. See the cost types summarized below. Federal and State Income taxes, social security and Medicare taxes related to that compensation will be withheld from a future paycheck. Details are documented in IRS Pub 521.
|Moving household goods, personal effects|
|Storage and insurance for 30 days||Storage and insrance for an additional 30 days|
|Employee and household members' air travel|
|Milage ar IRS rate for home moves||Additional milage factor up to NMT's business travel rate|
|Actual fuel and oil cost for vehicle|
|Parking fees and tolls en route|
|Auto Shipping Fees|
|Meals and incidental expenses en rout|
|Rental vehicle from former home to new home||Rental vehicle used at new home|
|Lodging en route||Value of lodging with friend en route|
|Temporary lodging at new location|
|Transportation, lodging, meals during house hunting trip.|
Requests for reimbursement of moving expenses must be submitted to the federal tax compliance manager using the Moving Expense Reimbursement Worksheet. All required receipts must be attached. A sample worksheet is located on the federal tax compliance web page. Reimbursement will be made by the Payroll department on a regular paycheck.
Advance of Funds
The candidate may be issued a check that is an advance of the home move benefit amount. The advance should be closed out within 60 days after the check was issued, or no later than the timing allowed under the IRS guideline for an accountable plan. A completed Employee Moving Expense Reimbursement Worksheet and required receipts are needed to close out the advance. A sample worksheet is located on the federal tax compliance web page.