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About This Policy

Effective Date: May 27, 2020
Last Updated: May 27, 2020
Responsible University Office: Human Resources/ Office of the Chief Financial Officer
Responsible University Administrator: Chief Financial Officer

Policy Contact:

Amy McGaheran
Director of Human Resources

Policy Purpose

To provide guidelines on how university funds may be used for instances where relocation costs are necessary for an individual to accept employment with Clarkson University. 

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Policy Summary

Clarkson University is dedicated to attracting, developing and retaining a world-class, diverse workforce. The University strives for excellence in academics, interdisciplinary collaboration and research and in order to fulfill these goals, the scope of our employment searches may be conducted on a national or international scale. In order to offer a competitive compensation package, financial assistance to help cover the costs associated with relocation may be offered to supplement the candidate’s salary and benefits package offered to them.  

Moving allowances must be negotiated at the time of offering a position and included in the signed offer letter.

Please Note: For tax years 2018 to 2025, the exclusion of moving expense reimbursements for non-military taxpayers is suspended.  Therefore, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Clarkson is required to include moving expense reimbursements in employees’ taxable wages. Moving allowance payments will have taxes withheld based on the employee’s federal (W-4) and NYS (IT-2104) withholding elections.

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Definition of Terms in Statement

Taxable Wages: the gross income of an individual or corporation, less any allowable tax deductions. Your taxable income is, in other words, the amount of your income that is subject to income tax. 

Qualifying Expense: Moving and relocation expenses that are considered reimbursable by the university. 

Non-Qualifying Expense: Moving and relocation expenses that are not considered reimbursable by the university.

Moving Expense: The costs of packing, shipping, and storing household goods. 

Relocation Expenses: The costs of travel for the faculty or staff member and family enroute to the position assigned.

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Policy Statement

In order to offer a competitive employment package to faculty, professional staff and administrative staff, hiring departments may wish to offer assistance to help cover costs associated with relocation as a supplement to the salary and benefits package offered to the candidate. These relocation expenses will be treated as taxable wages to the employee. 

Reimbursement Eligibility

  • In the course of negotiating some employment agreements, the university offers to pay moving and relocation expenses for incoming faculty and administrators. This policy applies to new full-time exempt regular employees including staff, faculty, visiting faculty and post-doctoral fellows.
  • Employees living less than 150 miles from the new employment location are not eligible to receive relocation and moving expense allowances. 

Limitation on Use of University Funds

  • It is at the discretion of the hiring department to determine the reimbursement of eligible moving or travel related expenses with university funds. 
  • Relocation and moving expenses are reimbursed based on University guidelines at a maximum rate of $5,000. Employees are responsible for providing evidence of costs incurred. 
  • In rare circumstances where a new employee may require a moving expense allotment greater than the maximum threshold of $5,000, these exceptions would require the approval of HR, Provost and CFO. 
  • Reimbursement for the relocation of lab equipment will be negotiated with the hiring department and be paid for through start-up funds. 

Qualifying Expenses

Moving Expenses: 

  • Moving household goods and personal effects including packing, shipping, and storing In-transit storage for up to 30 consecutive days. 
    • E.g., moving van/company rental, packing supplies, storage unit, tow hitch. 
  • If goods and effects are moved from a place other than the former residence, the qualifying expense may not exceed the cost of shipping from the former residence. 
    • E.g., moving goods and effects from a summer home.
  • Reasonable expenses also include the cost of connecting or disconnecting utilities required because of moving household goods, appliances, or personal effects. 

Relocation Expenses: 

  • Travel to the new home including the cost of one trip for the employee and family from the old home to the new home by direct route via conventional means. The trip for each family member can occur at a separate time. 
    • Airfare is a qualifying expense. Car rental expenses can qualify (if reasonable) and not to exceed 5 days; this includes transportation to and from airport, as well as transportation of pets to the new home and/or cost of kennels for pets during the move. 
  • If travel to the new residence is by car, cost may be figured as either 1) an actual expense (e.g., gas and oil) if accurate records are kept; or 2) at the deemed substantiation rate per IRS guidelines. Note: the mileage reimbursement is typically less than the standard mileage paid for business travel. 
  • Lodging during the move is a qualifying moving expense but meals are not. 
  • Parking fees and tolls are also qualified expenses. 

Non-Qualifying Expenses

  • Meal Expenses incurred while moving from the old residence to the new residence.
  • Travel expenses, meals, and lodging for pre-move house hunting trips.
  • Meals and lodging incurred while occupying temporary quarters in the area of the new job.
  • Expenses involved with buying or selling a home. 
  • Extra costs for side trips or stopovers (e.g., visits or sight-seeing) are not covered if they involve delay and/or detour.
  • Travel Visas are not considered a moving expense and will not be covered. 

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All moving expenses are required to be submitted within 60 days after they were paid or incurred. The new employee will be responsible for collecting all receipts and proof of mileage to provide as evidence of costs incurred. 

The employee will fill out and submit the Clarkson University Moving Expense Reimbursement Form with all receipts to Accounts Payable at or P.O. Box 5546. Accounts Payable will review the form and forward to Human Resources for approval.  All household moving expense reimbursements will be reported as taxable income on the employee’s IRS Form W-2.

The move itself is solely the responsibility of the new employee.  The contract for the move, along with any problems that may result from the move, is between the employee and the moving company.  The University’s only involvement is payment of the moving reimbursement to the employee.  The employee must handle any and all claims.

As relocation expense is treated as an allowance, methods of payment outside of the payroll process are not allowed.  Other payment methods that are disallowed include but are not limited to the University Purchasing Card (OneCard), Disbursement Orders (DO), payment on behalf of employees as well as the Purchase Order process, and travel/expense center.

Please contact the Controller’s Office for a copy of the Moving Expense Reimbursement Form if needed.

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