Relocation

Moving Service

At the discretion of each vice president, the University offers the services, at USD’s expense, of a relocation company that can help with recommendations for moving companies and with finding housing in the San Diego area. Please contact Assistant VP Rondi Stein (rstein@sandiego.edu or 619-260-4554) for assistance with this benefit.

Transition Stipend

For tenure-line faculty, we offer a one-time $2000 transition stipend, which is fully taxable, and is added to the first paycheck.

Moving Costs - USD and IRS Guidelines

At the discretion of each vice president, USD will reimburse reasonable and appropriate moving expenses for faculty and administrators (e.g., moving household goods and personal effects and traveling to their new home). The usual moving expense allowance is $5,000. However, each vice president will determine an employee’s eligibility for moving expense reimbursement and the maximum amount of reimbursement.  Moving expense authorization and amount must be specified in the employment offer signed by the hiring official or a higher authority, or in an accompanying cover letter. To avoid confusion on the part of the new hire, the offer should make clear the maximum amount of the moving expense allowance and that it is a reimbursable allowance.

Reimbursements for authorized travel expenses during the recruitment process are not taxable to the prospective employee. Reimbursement of personal travel expenses (such as house-hunting trips) incurred by the new employee after an offer of employment has been accepted in writing, but before the actual move, are taxable to the employee. 

USD is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report moving expense reimbursements made to employees. Any reimbursement made by USD is considered taxable income to the employee and will be reported to the IRS. 

USD can make direct payments to moving companies as long as the payment being made is for the transportation of a new employee’s household goods and personal effects.  Under new IRS regulations, qualified moving expenses paid by an employer directly to a moving company on behalf of the employee are reported on the employee’s annual IRS Form W-2.

Reimbursement of the following expenses may be made to the employee. Only expenses incurred in the shortest, most direct route available are reimbursable. The expenses are limited to those incurred within one year from the date the employee first reported to work. The cost of transporting personal effects from a location other than the employee’s former home is limited to the amount it would have cost to move the items from the employee’s former home.

Items that may be reimbursed are:

  1. Transportation of household goods and personal effects:
    • cost of a moving company
    • cost of truck rental in a self-move situation
    • actual fuel purchases in a self-move situation, as per published IRS guidelines (currently 17 cents/mile) 
    • packing, crating, transporting, and unpacking of goods
    • parking fees and tolls while in transit
    • car shipping cost
    • storage of household goods and personal effects for a period of up to 30 days.
  2. Travel to new household
    • airfare (coach)
    • lodging only while in transit (this includes one night at the old location and one night upon arrival at the new location)
    • actual fuel purchases, as per published IRS guidelines (currently 17 cents/mile)
    • parking fees and tolls while in transit

Supporting documentation, including original, itemized receipts; and a completed and signed payment request form, should be forwarded to the appropriate Vice President’s office.

Moving expenses are considered additional compensation to the new employee and must be processed through the payroll process. Below are examples of taxable, moving expenses that will be reported as compensation on the employee’s W-2:

  1. One pre-move house hunting trip—generally limited to one week or less in duration:
    • Airfare, rental car, fuel purchases, meals and lodging permissible with appropriate receipts.
  2. Travel of household excluded from reimbursable expenses:
    • Temporary housing expense after first night of arrival
    • Car rental on arrival while personal vehicle is being shipped is limited to one week.

Examples of expenses that do not qualify as moving expenses and will not be reimbursed include:

  1. side trips for recreation/vacation
  2. expenses associated with buying/selling a house
  3. automobile registration costs
  4. costs related to immigration
  5. loss of security deposits
  6. real estate expenses
  7. personal telephone calls, tips, movies, or other entertainment purchased during the move
  8. meals expenses incurred during relocation

 

Updated 1/24/2018