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Benefits: Relocation

SECTION: HR - Benefits NEXT REVIEW DATE: April 2017
APPROVED: September 2012 REVIEWER: Director of Human Resources
APPROVED BY: Donald B. Kaminski REVISION DATE: October 2016

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This policy is designed to facilitate the movement of new employees from outside the immediate tri-state area to the Wheeling area. The goal is to help these individuals transition from their geographic areas to the tri-state area.


2.1 Policy Statement

Wheeling Jesuit University will reimburse reasonable relocation expenses for new employees as provided in the terms of the offer letters as follows:

2.1.1 The total of all relocation expenses delineated within this policy will be covered up to a maximum of $4000 for newly hired Administrative (exempt) employees; and

2.1.2 The total of all relocation expenses delineated within this policy will be covered up to the flat rate established for newly hired, tenure-track, Faculty as determined by Academic Affairs.

2.1.3 The total of reimbursable relocation expenses may not exceed these amounts unless pre-approved by the president and noted within the offer letter.

2.2 Definitions

2.2.1 Relocation Reimbursement - University monies to cover the agreed and accepted charges covered in an employee's move of household goods to the tri-state area.

2.2.2 Reasonable Expenses - normal expenses associated with the employee's move including, but not limited to: transportation, lodging, and meals for the employee and family; transportation of household furnishings of the employee's primary residence; up to two (2) personal vehicles; and transportation of the appliances associated with the primary residence. Boats, recreational vehicles, livestock, campers, house hold furnishings of any residence other than the primary residence, unusual / unusually large or heavy items necessitating additional costs, use of rental cars at Wheeling, and damage incurred as a result of moving the house hold furnishings will not be covered.

2.2.3 Taxable Expenses - Per the IRS, these include, but are not limited to, temporary housing, University approved house-hunting trips, real estate actions, and meals; they will be reported as income for the employee.

2.2.4 Non-Taxable Expenses - Per the IRS, these include, but are not limited to, moving and storage of household contents and personal effects and travel to the University (lodging, meals while in transit).

2.2.5 Uncovered Expenses - Employees will not be reimbursed for normal living expenses at their new location including vehicle and driver's license transfer fees, real estate fees, lease or mortgage payments, and furnishings for the new residence.

2.3 Time Limits

This policy applies to newly hired employees only and will remain in effect from the employee's original date of hire continuing for a period not to exceed twelve (12) months. Employees who fail to relocate in that period of time or who are rehired after that time will not be eligible for relocation reimbursement unless such agreement is pre-approved by the president and noted within the offer letter.

2.4 IRS Guidelines

This policy, and IRS permitted deductions for moving expenses, will apply to all newly hired employees who meet the distance test established in IRS Publication 521. Because this test is different for every individual, Human Resources will need to communicate with the newly hired employee to determine if they meet the requirements of the test. In general, the test states that your move will meet the distance test if your new main job location is at least 50 miles farther from your former home than your old main job location was from your former home. Employees who do not meet the test and generally live less than fifty (50) miles from the University but whose position requires that they be on campus during odd-hours may be authorized relocation expenses if pre-approved by the president; however, such reimbursement may not be tax deductible and the newly hired employee will be taxed on all such money used for relocation if he/she accepts the offer.

2.5 Relocation Repayment

Prior to being eligible for relocation reimbursement, the newly hired employee must sign the offer letter which states that if a newly hired employee resigns or is terminated for cause prior to the completion of two (2) years of service AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE THE RELOCATION IS CONCLUDED, and after having received relocation reimbursement for reasonable relocation expenses:

2.5.1 The employee must repay to the University the full amount (100%) of the relocation reimbursement if the resignation or termination for cause occurs within twelve (12) months of the effective date the relocation is concluded.

2.5.2 The employee must repay to the University 50% of the full amount (100%) of the relocation reimbursement if the resignation or termination for cause occurs within twenty-four (24) months of the effective date the relocation is concluded.

2.6 Relation Reimbursement

2.6.1 Relocation reimbursement will only be provided:

  • For expenses submitted within sixty (60) calendar days of the date the expense is incurred;
  • When verified by an original receipt of service, receipt of sale, invoice, or credit card statement; and
  • In compliance with this policy.

2.6.2 The relocating employee will be issued a check after the employee completes his/her reimbursement request and submits a full and final itemized request with receipts attached to verify expenses.

  • For taxable expense: Concurrent with the payroll thirty (30) days after the expenses are submitted;
  • For non-taxable expenses: From Accounts Payable within thirty (30) business days after the expenses are submitted. [Note: Expenses submitted to the Business Office must be accompanied by receipts from the provider listing the provider's name, the activity, the date of the activity, and the total expense associated with the activity.
  • A detailed explanation will be required in lieu of each missing receipt for each expense noted on the itemized request and each explanation will be subject to approval from the Controller].

2.6.3 All relocation reimbursement will be subject to the guidelines of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 521, Moving Expenses, available at www.irs.gov. Newly hired employee's should familiarize themselves with current IRS publication 521 guidelines regarding tax treatment of certain moving expenses and the distinction between taxable and non-taxable moving expenses. Reimbursement for non-qualified expenses is subject to withholding of applicable income and employment taxes and is reported on the annual Form W-2 [Ex: meals].

2.7 Relocation

2.7.1 All reasonable relocation expenses must conform to the following guidelines:

  • Transportation of household furnishings, clothing, etc, from the previous residence to any area within fifty (50) miles of the University location in Wheeling (Exception: 2.1 and 2.4);
  • Transportation expenses for the employee and family to include associated lodging, meals, and travel costs (Note: Travel may be by car or other modes such as train or plane. Costs incurred with a personal vehicle will be reimbursed per IRS Publication 521 on either a standard per mile basis or fuel receipts, but not both);
  • Lodging on-site: cost for temporary lodging for the employee and family in a hotel or motel in the Wheeling area for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days.
  • Storage: costs for storing house hold furnishing up to a maximum of sixty (60) days.

2.7.2 The total costs of the items in 2.6.1 cannot exceed the benefit amounts noted in 2.1.

2.7.3 Newly hired employees may transport household furnishings in one of two ways but cannot exceed the benefit amounts noted in 2.1:

  • Commercial Move: The newly hired employee can coordinate the relocation through a commercial mover. The University will reimburse up to the amounts noted herein upon submission of an original receipt or invoice. This amount may include insurance to cover the household furnishings.
  • Self-Driven Move: The newly hired employee can rent a van and the University will reimburse, up to the amounts noted herein upon submission of original receipts, the cost of the van rental, packing supplies, gas, tolls, mileage, the cost of having the personal vehicle driven over (including gas and tolls), lodging, and meals. Deposits on the van will not be covered.

2.7.4 If the newly hired employee's spouse's employer also provides relocation reimbursement, the University benefits will be coordinated with the benefit's supplied by the spouse's employer so the University's portion neither duplicates covered expenses approved by the spouse's employer nor exceed the benefit amounts noted in 2.1.

2.7.5 If the newly hired employee intends to make house-hunting trips, the expense associated with those trips may be included in the total relocation expenses noted in 2.1 above; however, such trips may not be tax-deductible.

2.7.6 If there are any questions, clarification and prior approval must be obtained from Human Resources. The University will adhere to the requirements of IRS Publication 521 in determining which expenses are non-taxable and which are taxable. In all situations, whenever there is doubt or conflict, IRS guidelines will prevail.


The Director of Human Resources, in conjunction with the Chief Financial Officer, has the authority to change, modify or approve exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice, and in compliance with the Plan and IRS guidelines, with the approval of the Board of Directors through the University President.


Moving Expenses, Publication 521, Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service

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