Employee Relocation Reimbursement Process


The University may pay the moving and relocation expenses of new faculty and staff members who are transferred from one geographic location to another. The preference is to use a university wide contract for the move. Moving expenses are the costs of packing, shipping and storing household goods. Relocation expenses are the costs of travel for the faculty or staff member and family to the position assigned, including transportation, food, and lodging, travel for trips necessary to secure living quarters and temporary lodging.

In all cases, the individual must already have an appointment through University Human Resources in place and a reimbursement agreement for any payment or reimbursement to be made.

Please read Employee Relocation Policy prior to proceeding with the relocation and moving expense process.

As of January 1, 2018, the University has enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Act suspended the exclusion from taxable income for qualified moving expenses incurred by employees. Further, as of July 1, 2018, the Act suspended the tax-free reimbursement of qualified moving expenses. Moving expenses incurred by employees will be treated as wages subject to federal, state and FICA tax withholding. All relocation expense payments for calendar years 2018 through 2025 constitute taxable income to the employee, regardless of whether they are paid directly by the University or reimbursed to the new employee. Further, please note that employees may not deduct these expenses on their individual income tax returns. 

University faculty and staff should contact their respective human resource representatives with general relocation questions.


  1. UMD Pays the Moving Company Directly

    • It is encouraged that the University pay the moving company directly (for household goods or office/laboratory equipment) using one of the University’s contracted suppliers, for ease of buying, use of discounts, and fewer out-of-pocket expenses for the new employee.  
    • The Transportation Manager’s office (301.405.5852) maintains transportation agreements with a number of national household moving companies and can assist in coordinating household and laboratory moves when the university has agreed to pay for the move. The Transportation Manager’s office also processes payment of invoices relating to these moves. To take advantage of this service, please follow these guidelines. Beginning January 1, 2018, household move expenses are no longer tax deductible. Charges paid by the University of Maryland will show up as income on the shipper’s W-2. 
  2. Employees Reimbursement After the Appointment Has Commenced

    • All relocation expenses related to travel and moving expenses that must be reimbursed directly to the employee after the appointment has commenced must go through Payroll Services. Units should create a Non-Standard appointment and adjustment in PHR.
    • Non-standard pay appointments are used to pay employee’s for short term or sporadic reasons such as moving expenses.
    • Use the drop down to select the employee's title.
    • The FICA code should be set to FICA Taxable. Questions concerning FICA taxability should be directed to Payroll Services.
    • Enter the total amount of the expenses being reimbursed.
    • Select Administrative as the non-standard reason.
    • Enter the dates for the current pay period.
    • Click “Save”. Now, you can see the link at the bottom of the page to change the account number if necessary.
    • Click “Release for Approval”
    • An e-mail message will be sent to the department approver.
    • When you see a RED message stating “Adjustment has been released, No Updates Allowed,” you are finished with the pay adjustment.
    • Click “Return to Main Menu”
    • Important Information: All Non-Standard Pay Appointments require a “Pay Adjustment” for each pay period that the employee is due compensation. Otherwise, the employee will not be paid.


Moving Expenses

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 has made all moving expenses not related to military purposes as taxable. This includes moving expenses paid to a third party. Taxes will be withheld at the graduated rate based on the number of exemptions indicated on the employee’s W4 form. 

For expenses NOT being paid via non-standard, departments/units should submit forms to Payroll Services on a quarterly basis indicating the amount of paid expenses or reimbursements to employees and/or third-party vendors. The taxable amount can be divided over a certain number of pay periods, and the maximum number of pay periods depends on the number of pay periods remaining in the calendar year. If an employee would like to have the taxes taken in less pay periods, a written request needs to be sent by the unit/department to Kim Williams

On the employee’s pay stub, there will be a description of TXBLE MOVE EXP on both sides. On the left hand side of the pay stub, the value to be taxed is added to the employee’s gross wages. The employee is then taxed on the higher amount. On the right hand side of the pay stub, the value to be taxed is deducted since it is not money actually earned. Only the additional taxes associated with the moving expense is actually withheld from the employee’s pay.

If an employee has both a third party payment and an expense reimbursement, the value being taxed may change depending on whether Payroll Services can receive both forms in the same pay period.