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Relocation Procedures

OVERVIEW

The University of Montana adheres to the IRS moving expense regulations as outlined in “Publication 521 Moving Expenses” available online at the IRS Website.

OPERATING PRINCIPLES

Employees seeking approval for payment of relocation expenses may select from one of two options: (1) Direct Procurement and Payment by the University or (2) Authorized Reimbursement. The tax treatment of each is noted below and the specific procedures on how to process costs associated with relocating an employee’s household goods and personal effects are noted here

  1. Direct Procurement and Payment by the University of Montana

Tax Treatment

The costs paid directly by the University associated with transporting and temporary storage of household goods and personal effects when the 50 mile distance test is met, will not be taxable income and will not be reported on the form W-2 (see Relocation Expense Tax Form for distance test requirements).  If a move does not meet the 50 mile distance test, costs paid by the University will be considered taxable income and will be reported on the form W-2 in the appropriate boxes and taxed accordingly. 

The following costs paid directly by the University will not be taxable income and will not be reported on the form W-2. Forms of payment include UM Purchasing card and Direct billing payments.

  • Travel and Lodging ( excluding meals) for the employee and family; and
  • Mileage (at the established rate per IRS publication 521)

The following costs paid directly by The University of Montana to a Third party will be reported on the form W-2 in the appropriate boxes and taxed accordingly.

  • Temporary living costs
  • House hunting costs
  • Costs of selling or buying homes
  • All meals and food
  • The cost of breaking a lease
  • Automobile mileage reimbursements in excess of established IRS publication 521 rates

Business Services/ Accounts Payable will be responsible for providing the appropriate payment information to the Human Resources Payroll Office.  Human Resources will be responsible for tax withholding and reporting.  

  1. Authorized Reimbursement of Individual

A Relocation Authorization Form authorized by the appropriate Executive Officer or designee must accompany a Relocation Expense Tax Form, including all original receipts with an explanation to substantiate the reimbursement. These forms and receipts must be forwarded to Business Services/Accounts Payable within 30 days from the date the      expense is incurred.  No reimbursement will be allowed after the 30 day period has elapsed.

Tax Treatment

The following reimbursements will be treated as fringe benefits, excluded from income as qualified moving expense reimbursements and be reported on the employees W-2 form.

  • Transportation and temporary storage of household goods;
  • Lodging ( excluding meals) for the employee and family; and
  • Mileage (at the established rate per IRS publication 521)

The following reimbursements will be reported on the form W-2 in the appropriate boxes and taxed accordingly.

  • Temporary living costs
  • House hunting costs
  • Costs of selling or buying homes
  • All meals and food
  • The cost of breaking a lease
  • Automobile mileage reimbursements in excess of established IRS publication 521 rates

Business Services/Accounts Payable will be responsible for providing the appropriate payment information to the Human Resources Payroll Office.  Human Resources will be responsible for tax withholding and reporting. 

Business Services
Emma B. Lommasson Center
Room 236
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812