UNC Charlotte Moving Expense Procedures

Overview

Moving expenses for new hires at UNC Charlotte can either be reimbursed using State funds or provided via an allowance using Discretionary funds. These procedures outline the difference between the two methods and how to request a reimbursement or allowance. All moving support from the university is fully taxable to employees.

Provisions

Fund Sources1

Only one of the following two types of funds may be used to pay for moving expenses:

  • State funds may be used for moving expense reimbursements. The employee is required to submit a pre-approval request to use state funds.
  • Discretionary funds may be used for moving allowances.
  • Only one type of funds (Discretionary or State) can be used for a single employee for the reimbursement/allowance.
  • Gross-up: Discretionary funds must be used for the gross-up portion of a reimbursement/allowance, if applicable, regardless of the fund type used. Gross-up cannot be added for faculty reimbursements funded via AABP State funds.
  • See the chart in “Standard Allowance Levels” for additional information on fund sources.

1) Refer to Policy 601.8, Appropriate Use of University Funds, for definitions of fund types. Generally speaking, Discretionary funds must be designated by the letters “DISC” in the fund title. State funds are all other funds (General Funds, trust funds, special funds, etc.).

Standard Allowance Levels

Departments can submit a total request up to the following amounts: 

Standard Allowance Levels Table

  1. Moving expense support is not considered "special pay subject to the "3/9ths" rule for 9-month faculty.
  2. AABP (Academic Affairs Budget & Personnel) provides the funding for faculty moving expenses for all colleges/departments except for the Belk College of Business (BCOB) and The Williams States Lee College of Engineering (COEN).
  3. Funding for staff moving expenses is contingent upon the availability of departmental funds. Note that while HR (Human Resources) approves moving expense reimbursements/allowances for staff they do not provide any central source of funding.

Expenses covered and documentation

The moving expenses covered and documentation requirements are different for moving reimbursements paid via state funds vs. moving allowances paid via discretionary funds. The flowchart in the Procedures section below shows the approval process required for each.

Moving Reimbursements using State Funds
  • All documentation and receipts that support the amount being requested are required to be maintained and submitted.
  • “Moving-related expenses” covered via a Moving Reimbursement are outlined in detail in OSBM Budget Manual Sections 6.6 and 6.7. Only specific expenses can be paid via state funds for moving expense reimbursements. Please make sure you review these sections in detail so you understand what can and cannot be reimbursed via State funds.
    • Only specific travel expenses can be paid via state funds. These are detailed in the OSBM Budget Manual and on the Reimbursement Request form. Additional costs are the responsibility of the employee. Notably:
      • Sections 6.6.3 & 6.6.4:
        • The only items allowed to be covered are “household and personal goods,” which excludes items that require special handling such as animals, boats, airplanes, motor vehicles, antiques, satellite dishes, campers, woodworking equipment, workshop items, heavy machine equipment, and building materials.
        • The cost of packing, transporting, and unpacking is limited to 15,000 lbs.
        • Additional storage is not covered.
        • Expedited service, space reservation, and other special or non-routine services are not covered.
      • Section 6.6.5: Transit insurance costs, in addition to the carrier’s required base coverage of $0.60 per pound per article, is limited to $1.25 per pound per article, up to 15,000 lbs.
      • Section 6.6.6: Appliance connection/disconnection costs are allowed up to $200.
        • Includes electrical, water, gas hook-up, household appliances, and connection of a single telephone.
        • Does not include “items considered unnecessary to household operations such as television antennas, cablevision connection, satellite dish, nor any type of power tools or other equipment associated with home workshops, hobbies, or other activities.”
        • Does not include utility deposits or running of utility lines.
      • Section 6.6.7: Mobile home moving costs are allowed up to $500 in lieu of an allowance for loading, unloading, and insurance coverage.
        • For locating new residence (house hunting): Mileage is reimbursable for a maximum of 3 round trips: max 2 days/1 night each, max 6 days/3 nights total. Airfare is NOT reimbursable. Subsistence is allowed for each member of the family per trip, limited to state rates (see Travel Manual, Section VIII.1.1). Lodging is allowed for one double room.
        • For the day of moving: Mileage is reimbursable for a one-way automobile trip (max of two cars). Airfare is NOT reimbursable. Subsistence is allowed for each member of the family (see Travel Manual, Section VIII.1.1). Employees have two days to complete the move. Lodging is allowed for one double room.
    • Moving-related expenses do not include those incurred for job candidates during recruitment (e.g., during on-campus interviews). See the Travel Manual for further information about recruitment related reimbursements.
  • Pre-approval is required (Budget Manual Section 6.7.1). The pre-approval form must be submitted by the employee along with bids from three professional movers. If the employee prefers to rent a moving truck, the employee must provide a bid from one professional mover to show that the cost to rent a moving truck is less than the cost to hire a professional moving company (including estimated packing material costs such as straps, blankets, boxes). An estimate of other reimbursable costs (generally those listed under Section 6.6.8 above) must also be included. Here is an instruction guide you can share with new employees that walks them through how to complete and submit this form. 
  • The moving reimbursement will require out-of-pocket expenses for the employee, and will likely take more than one month to process. The reimbursement is still taxable to the employee. Requirements set forth in the OSBM Budget Manual are strict and detailed. Note that Chancellor approval is required.
Moving Allowances using Discretionary Funds
  • No supporting documentation or receipts are needed. Exceptions:
    • When the request is for $10,000 or more:
      • Receipts must be maintained and submitted.
      • The amount is limited to the moving-related expenses actually incurred, supported by receipts.
    • Moving expense documentation should be maintained if an exception amount is being requested (See Standard Allowance Levels chart below) to support consistency among amounts paid to new employees.
  • “Moving-related expenses” covered via a Moving Allowance includes expenses related to house hunting, moving truck rentals, hiring of moving companies, costs for shipping household items and related supplies, costs to store household items before or during the move, costs to ship household pets, mileage incurred during the move, other move-related costs such as connecting/disconnecting utilities, and temporary living arrangements.
    • Moving-related expenses do not include those incurred for job candidates during recruitment (e.g., during on-campus interviews). See the Travel Manual for further information about recruitment related reimbursements.
Policies applicable to both Reimbursements and Allowances
  • Payment for all moving-related expenses is the responsibility of the employee.
    • No moving-related expenses can be paid directly to an employee or to a vendor (e.g., via p-card, 49er Mart, or DPR) outside of the Moving Expense Reimbursement/Allowance Form.
      • Departments should avoid paying for any moving-related expenses outside of the Moving Expense Reimbursement/Allowance Form, as doing so creates unfavorable taxable consequences for the employee.
      • If moving expenses are found to have been paid for an employee’s benefit via p-card or 49er Mart (or otherwise outside of the Moving Expense Reimbursement/Allowance Form), the expense will need to be added to the employee’s wages after-the-fact. The employee will be responsible for related federal and state income and FICA tax withholdings (which will be deducted from the employee’s regular pay) unless the department chooses to gross up the payment (use the gross-up calculation form).
  • The moving expense reimbursement/allowance is a taxable lump sum payment, intended to offset some of the employee’s moving-related costs at the discretion of the hiring department. Recipients should expect approximately 35% in taxes to be withheld from their moving reimbursement/allowance.

Eligibility

  • Moving reimbursements/allowances are available for full-time, permanent positions.
  • Eligible employees will be moving from outside a 100-mile radius of the Greater Charlotte area.
  • Moving reimbursements/allowances must be paid within the first year of employment.
  • Exceptions require pre-approval.

Discontinuation of Employment

Employees that leave University employment prior to 90 days must reimburse the University 100% of any allowance received (gross, not net of taxes). Should an employee voluntarily leave University employment within one year of hire for a position other than a promotion within North Carolina state government, they may be required to reimburse the University for a prorated portion of the allowance. The employee should work with the hiring department to determine the amount to be repaid. No tax withholding or reporting adjustments will be made by the Payroll Office. Repayment should be made directly to the department outside of the payroll system.

Procedures

  1. If using State funds, the new employee must complete a Pre-approval Request Form (download this form before completing it).
  2. To request reimbursement/allowance, your department or college's business support staff should complete a Moving Expense Reimbursement/Allowance Form (download this form before completing it). Note that new employees should NOT complete this form for themselves. The form and attachments should be emailed directly to imagenowpay@uncc.edu.
  3. The form will follow this approval workflow:

Click the image below to enlarge:

Moving Payments Flowchart

  1. Once approved, Payroll will process on the next available payroll cycle.
    • A moving allowance can be paid on the employee’s first paycheck provided that: 1) all HR hiring process steps are completed so that the employee and their job is established in Banner, and 2) the allowance form has been submitted to Payroll at least two weeks prior to the pay date. Required HR hiring process steps include:
      • Employee’s job is established in Banner (NBAJOBS).
      • Parts 1 & 2 of the Form I-9 are completed, along with other HR related hiring documents; please reference HR’s New Employee Forms webpage.
      • Direct Deposit has been set up by the employee; follow the steps in this FAQ (employee must have their NinerNet credentials first).
      • For new 9-month faculty, if all the above are complete, a moving reimbursement/allowance may be processed earlier than the faculty member’s first payroll distribution (typically end of August). Business support staff submitting the requests should send copies of the completed Form I-9 and attest that direct deposit has been set up, before submitting the moving Form. Incomplete paperwork can cause delays in processing.

*Please allow appropriate time for required approvals.
*Also, 
remember that the existence of an 800# does not necessarily mean the employee’s job is established in Banner.

Contacts

Examples that illustrate the difference between recruitment and house hunting expenses

Scenario #1:

A candidate comes to Charlotte for an on-campus interview. The candidate returns home and receives a job offer and accepts it. Subsequently, the candidate returns to Charlotte for a bonafide house hunting trip.

Travel Reimbursement: For the first trip, the candidate may be reimbursed for recruitment-related travel expenses (based on State limit criteria; refer to the Travel Manual).

Moving Support: For the second trip, the employee may not be reimbursed for any expenses related to this trip as recruitment-related travel. Instead, the department can either: 1) request a moving allowance for the employee to help cover any house hunting and/or moving expenses if they elect to use Discretionary funds, or 2) reimburse the employee for house hunting expenses using State funds; see OSBM Budget Manual Section 6.6.8 “For locating new residence” for restrictions, including that airfare cannot be reimbursed.

Scenario #2:

A candidate comes to Charlotte for an on-campus interview. The candidate does some house hunting while in Charlotte during this trip but is primarily in Charlotte for the purpose of the interview. The candidate returns home and receives a job offer and accepts it.

Travel Reimbursement: The candidate can be reimbursed for recruitment-related travel expenses (based on State limit criteria; refer to the Travel Manual), but not for any specific house hunting expenses (including transportation, lodging, and subsistence costs on days not covered under the candidate’s business trip, usually limited to one day before/after the interview).

Moving Support: If the department requests a moving allowance for the employee using Discretionary funds, the department can request an amount that will help cover any house hunting expenses, as well as other moving-related expenses incurred by the employee. If the department elects to reimburse the employee using State funds, specific house hunting expenses can be covered; see OSBM Budget Manual Section 6.6.8 “For locating new residence” for restrictions, including that airfare cannot be reimbursed.

 

Created 2/18

Rev. 5/3/2018, 6/22/18, 6/27/18, 1/01/2019, 2/21/2019