College departments may offer to pay a portion of moving/relocation expenses when hiring salaried employees. See Dartmouth's Relocation of New Employees for more information.
Reimbursement for moving expenses paid to or on behalf of an employee may either be taxable or non-taxable to the employee. These guidelines for determining taxability are based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. See IRS Publication 521 Moving Expenses (pdf).
Employee Recruitment Expenses
Before an offer is accepted:
Payment of authorized recruitment expenses (such as airfare, lodging, and meals) incurred during the employee recruitment process are not taxable to the prospective employee.
After an offer is accepted:
After an offer of employment has been accepted, the employee/employer relationship is established and pre-move house hunting expenses (such as airfare, lodging, and meals) incurred by the employee and family are considered taxable income (if reimbursed). The actual costs of moving may be either taxable or non-taxable, as described below.
Who Qualifies for Non-Taxable Reimbursement
- Your move is closely related to the start of work, both in time and in place.
- Your new main job is at least 50 miles farther from your former home than your old job location was from your former home.
- You must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after you arrive in the general area of your new job location.
What Qualifies as Non-Taxable/Qualified Moving Expenses
- You must meet the requirements for who qualifies for non-taxable reimbursement of moving expenses or who can deduct moving expenses.
- The expenses must be reasonable for the circumstances of your move.
- Expenses must be for yourself or members of your household. A member of your household is anyone who has both your former home and your new home as his or her home. It does not include a tenant or employee, unless that person is your dependent.
- Cost of packing, crating and transporting furniture and other household items
- Shipping automobiles and pets
- Storing and insuring items within a 30 day period after moving out of the former home and before delivery to the new home
- Transportation and lodging costs for the employee and his/her family members while traveling from the former home to the new home
Taxable/Non Qualified Moving Expenses
- Meals while traveling during house hunting or final move
- Relocation services
- Transportation costs for house hunting trips
- Temporary living expenses
- Cost associated with selling your former residence, terminating a lease, or buying or leasing a new home
See IRS Publication 521 Moving Expenses (pdf) for more detail on non-taxable and taxable moving expenses and for guidelines on deducting unreimbursed moving expenses on your U.S. income tax return.