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Institutional Finance & Administration

Moving Expense - FAQ

What is the preferred method for paying a moving company?
The preferred method for paying moving companies is by having the moving company directly bill the university rather than having the employee pay the moving company and then reimbursing the employee. This is preferred because it prevents the employee from being subject to the 12,000 pound limit for household items and personal effects in addition to not being subject to the automobile moving restrictions. If the university is direct billed, the payment is made by KU Endowment Association. Requests for direct commercial carrier payments should be made to KU Endowment Association.

Is there a limit on the amount of household items that can be reimbursed?
Up to 12,000 pounds of household items can be reimbursed. The bill of lading from the moving company must include the weight.

Are bids from moving companies really necessary?
Unless the University is direct-billed, three firm-rate bids are required. The bid needs to include the cost of transportation, material and labor for packing and unpacking containers, appliance service, piano pick-up/delivery, and transit insurance.

Can the employee choose to do a self-move?
Yes. Employees can choose to move themselves if agreeable with the department. Expenses that may be reimbursed as nontaxable include rental costs and insurance of a moving van or trailer or mileage at $0.12 per mile for a private moving vehicle. The time required to undertake a self-move is considered normal working time for the employee. As long as the costs and time duration appear “reasonable,” no commercial carrier bids are necessary. However, if the costs and estimated time duration seem unreasonable, one commercial carrier bid may be required to establish the allowable maximum cost.

If an employee lives in a mobile home, can the employee be reimbursed for transporting the mobile home?
Yes. In lieu of paying for the moving household items, the employee may be reimbursed as nontaxable for one of the following:

  • Up to $0.30 per mile if the employee moves the mobile home
  • Commercial transportation of the mobile home including necessary tolls, charges, and permits. Payment can be made directly to the company or reimbursed to the employee.

Can the employee be reimbursed for purchasing airfare for the family to travel to the new location?

No. Only the employee’s airfare may be reimbursed. Nevertheless, in instances where the employee and family flies to the new location, the employee may be reimbursed up to $0.40 per mile in lieu of airfare. However, mileage paid in excess of $0.12 per mile is considered taxable.

Can the employee be paid for mileage if more than one car is driven to the new location?
Yes. However, the total amount of miles paid cannot exceed $0.40 per mile. If the employee drives one vehicle, the mileage is $0.12 per mile and is not taxed. If the employee drives one vehicle and a family member (of the same household) drives the other, both vehicles may be reimbursed at $0.12 per mile. If the employee drives one vehicle and family members (of the same household) drive the other two other vehicles, they may also be reimbursed at $0.12 per mile. No mileage may be paid for the fourth or consecutive vehicles or for vehicles not driven by members of the household. If any single vehicle is reimbursed more than $0.12 per mile, the amount in excess of $0.12 is considered taxable.

What if the family members do not move with the employee at the same time?
Members of the employees family are not required to move at the same time as the employee. The employee may be reimbursed $0.12 per mile as nontaxable for one one way trip for the family to drive from the old residence to the new. Additional trips are taxable. Airfare to transport family members cannot be reimbursed.

Are employees allowed to separate their move into two or more portions?
The move may be separated into two or more portions as long is the employee is moving from a former primary residence to a new primary residence.

If the employee has a two residences can the employee be reimbursed for moving items from both residences?
No. Only moving expenses from the employees primary residence may be reimbursed. Other residences (even if only a temporary residence) cannot be reimbursed.

Can the employee be reimbursed for storage of household items?
Yes. Storage and insurance of household items can be reimbursed as nontaxable for a period of 30 consecutive days after the items are removed from the former residence and before being delivered to the new residence. If storage lasts longer than 30 days, the additional days are reimbursed as taxable.

Is the employee allowed to be reimbursed for house hunting expenses?
During the 30-day period before the employee’s start date, meals and lodging may be reimbursed (at state rates) up to a maximum of 15 days while searching for a new residence. These items are taxable. Also, during the 30-day period before the employee’s start date, the employee may have transportation reimbursed as non-taxable for one round-trip to search for a new residence. If the entire family accompanies the employee and they travel by air, only the employee’s airfare may be reimbursed. Additional trips may be reimbursed as taxable. Up to 30 days after the employee’s start date, meals and lodging (at state rates) may be reimbursed while the employee is looking for a new residence or waiting for the residence to be readied for occupancy.

If the cost of lodging exceeds state guidelines, can the difference be reimbursed as taxable?
No. Lodging exceeding state guidelines (for whatever reason) cannot be reimbursed. Taxable vs. non-taxable does not apply in this instance.

Can private funds be used to pay for moving expenses not allowed by state or university moving policies?
No. While the preferred method is to have the University billed directly for any moving expenses and paid by KUEA, this is not always possible. Whenever moving expenses are submitted to Purchasing/Accounts Payable or Payroll for payment, all state and university moving guidelines apply.

Are there special reimbursement rules for moving someone from overseas?
There are no special rules for paying for a move for someone moving from overseas. Remember, only the employee may have airfare reimbursed.

Can moving expense be paid for someone who receives an appointment for less than one year?
The moving policy does not allow for employees to be reimbursed for moving expenses unless they remain employed the University for a minimum of 12 months.

How is fiscal year determined?
The fiscal year is determined by the date the move begins. A move begins when items are loaded into the moving truck. If the move is crossing fiscal years, an encumbrance needs to be created for the entire amount of the moving expense.

What funds can be used for moving expenses?
Endowment funds can be use to pay for moving expenses. Other funds should not be used. Please remember to include the KUEA Payment Verification Form with the moving expenses.

How should office equipment be moved?
Office equipment should be moved separately from the household items and personal effects. The moving invoice for office equipment should be direct-billed to the university for the department to pay. Payment is similar to moving an office on campus. Funds other than Endowment funds may be used.

Is there a time limit on when moving expenses can be claimed?
All moving expenses must be claimed within one year from the day the employee starts work unless there are certain extenuating circumstances.

If friends or family help the employee move can the employee be reimbursed for paying for their help or buying them a meal?
If the employee pays friends or family or buys a meal for them, the employee cannot be reimbursed for these expenses. Costs associated with packing, moving, and unpacking can only paid to an actual moving business. Meals and other subsistence items can only be incurred by members of the employee’s household.