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Moving Expense Policy

UMBC Moving Expense Policy & Procedures

This policy has been developed to help department personnel facilitate the payment of moving expenses which may be incurred by the campus when employees are being recruited. This policy and procedure is developed in compliance with the University of Maryland (UMS) Board of Regents Policy and Procedure VII – 4.40-1 concerning “Moving Expenses”.


All agreements which include the payment of moving expenses are to be approved by the Provost or the respective Vice President or their designee prior to the agreement being offered. If the payment of moving expenses is approved, the employment offer letter must detail the agreement including the maximum amount of moving expenses that will be paid or reimbursed.


All costs related to the relocation of the employee, their immediate family, and the movement of household goods and personal effects that were paid by the employee should be submitted for reimbursement on a completed UMBC Request for Reimbursement Form. The original invoices (with proof of payment), and/or receipts must be submitted with this form. If the move is contracted by the University, the department should follow normal Procurement Policy and submit a Purchase Requisition prior to the move. The correct account number for these expenses is 6018200. A separate Reimbursement of Moving Expenses Per Offer of Employment form should be submitted with the UMBC Request for Reimbursement Form. You are required to separate the costs into the following three categories:

1. Transportation and storage of household goods.
2. Travel and lodging during the actual move.
3. All other expenses, including all meals, all costs related to house hunting trips and the cost of temporary quarters.

UMBC is required to report all moving expense reimbursements to the IRS on a calendar year basis. Certain types of expenses are reportable while others are both reportable and taxable. The above breakdown of expenses is necessary to allow UMBC to correctly report to the IRS. See IRS Publication 521 “Moving Expenses” for the current IRS rules regarding the reporting and taxation of employee moving expenses. IRS Publications are available on the web at

The Internal Revenue Service Code says that reimbursed costs must be reasonable and in compliance with a pre-approved agreement between the University and the employee.

A copy of the employee’s signed offer letter showing UMBC’s commitment to pay or reimburse moving expenses (including the maximum dollar amount allowed) must be forwarded with all reimbursement requests submitted to the Financial Services Accounts Payable section.

Undocumented expenses will not be reimbursed, with the following exceptions:

In lieu of gasoline receipts, the employee may claim mileage from starting point to ending point of the actual move at the current IRS “per mile” rate for relocation. The route driven must be the shortest, most direct route available by conventional transportation. Stopovers or side trips are not related to the move and may not be included in the mileage total. Tolls may be claimed (with receipts) in addition to this per mile rate. For 2014, the standard mileage rate for using your vehicle to move to a new home is 23.5 cents per mile. If a higher rate per mile is paid, the excess above 23.5 cents per mile will be reported to the IRS as taxable income to the employee. See Publication 521 on the IRS web site to determine the current IRS rate per mile

In lieu of meal receipts, the employee may claim current per diem (per person) for meals consumed during the actual move.

If either of these options is elected, the employee must submit a signed statement detailing the items being claimed and showing the calculated dollar value of each. This signed statement must be attached to the UMBC Request for Reimbursement Form.


Nothing in this policy or the UMS Board of Regent’s Policies and Procedures requires the payment of moving expenses.

The payment of moving expenses is authorized under this policy only when the distance between the new place of work and the former residence is greater than fifty (50) miles one way. Exceptions to this rule may be made at and for the convenience of UMBC and when pre-approved by the Provost or the respective Vice President or their designee.

IRS Distance Test: All funds reimbursed to the employee will become taxable income to the employee if the IRS distance test is not met. Refer to Publication 521, “Moving Expenses” for a detailed discussion of this test.

As of January 2014, the IRS distance test was as follows:

Your new main job location must be at least 50 miles farther from your former home than your old main job location was from your former home.

The employee is also required, by Internal Revenue Code Section 217(c), to maintain full time employment with the University for thirty nine (39) weeks during the first twelve months after the move. If this requirement is not met, the employee will be required either to file an amended return or to include the previously claimed expenses on their current year’s return.


If the new employee is moving laboratory equipment to UMBC, it is the responsibility of the department to send a memorandum of this transfer to the Plant Funds Accountant in Financial Services. The expenses of moving this type of equipment should be contracted for on a Purchase Requisition. This cost should be charged to Other Contract Services account code 7089900.

Revised: September 2015