The University of Washington is permitted by the state of Washington to pay moving expenses for eligible new or transferring employees. The Lump Sum Moving Allowance is a UW preferred option to facilitate paying an employee for expenses associated with a move to the University.
2018 Federal Tax Reform Update - Moving Expenses
Effective January 1, 2018, all personal moving expenses related to either reimbursements or payments on behalf of employees are taxable. Furthermore, these payments are taxable without regard to whether receipts and/or appropriate documentation is provided.
Departments paying moving expenses are encouraged to use the Lump Sum Moving Allowance process in Workday. Using this process will ensure that new employees do not receive reduced paychecks while the required tax withholding and payroll tax payments are deducted.
Lump Sum Moving Allowance
The Lump Sum Moving Allowance is an option to facilitate paying an employee for expenses associated with a move to the University. This is a one-time payment that will be included with an employee’s first paycheck. While the amount is at the discretion of the department, the suggested upper limit for the allowance is $5,000. This allowance is intended to be used for all moving and travel expenses associated with the new employee's relocation, and they should not expect additional payments or reimbursements related to their move. Since this is an "allowance", taxes will be withheld when the payment is made.
The Lump Sum Moving Allowance is NOT the same as the Relocation Incentive Payment.
This is also different from the reimbursement process. Departments who would rather reimburse travel expenses related to relocation rather than offer a Lump Sum Moving Allowance should see the Travel Office webpage.
Authorizing the Allowance
UW Hiring Official: Review the One Time Payment guidance on the Integrated Service Center website (direct link for academic personnel guidance) and provide the departmental payroll coordinator with an email authorizing the lump sum moving allowance.
Payroll Coordinator: Use Workday to establish the allowance. For more information about the procedure, review the guidance on the Integrated Service Center website (direct link for academic personnel guidance).
For guidance on One Time payments for other types of employees see the Integrated Service Center User Guide Library and filter by "Moving Expense" in the Topic field.
The individual arranges and pays for the entire move themselves.
The individuals will receive the lump sum payment with their first paycheck, once they are an active employee. The lump sum is intended to be used for all moving and travel expenses associated with the move. The employee should not expect additional payments or reimbursements.
Appropriate taxes will be withheld from the payment amount, and the payment and withholding will be reported on the employee's W-2. Individuals should consult their tax adviser to determine whether any deductions may be available to them. The University will not provide any personal tax advice regarding this payment.
If you are unable to do a Lump Sum Moving Allowance, please see the Household & Laboratory Moves section below.
- User Guides which include four guides on One Time Moving Expense Payments (UW Integrated Service Center Guidance)
- Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Moves (Procurement Services FAQs)
- Payment of Moving Expenses Incurred by New or Transferred Employees (APS 34.1)
- Lump Sum Relocation Payment (APS 34.2)
- Lump Sum Relocation Incentive Payment Procedure (UW Human Resources)
The full amount of the relocation incentive payment and Lump Sum Moving Allowance must be repaid to the University if within one year of the date of appointment the employee voluntarily terminates employment or engages in behavior that makes termination of employment necessary. Termination of employment as a result of layoff, disability separation, or other good cause as determined by the provost or vice president for Human Resources (or their respective designees) does not require repayment of the relocation compensation.
What would cause an employee to be required to pay back the relocation payment?
If the employee receiving the relocation payment terminates or causes termination with the state within one year of the date of the appointment or transfer, that employee may be required to pay back the lump sum payment. If the termination is a result of layoff, disability separation, or other good cause as determined by the agency director or higher education president, the employee will not have to pay back the relocation payment.
Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.06 RCW
How would one go about paying the University back for a lump sum moving allowance?
The ISC's overpayment process is used in case of lump sum moving allowance repayment. Please refer to the ISC web page on overpayments.
- There are guidelines to follow when using state funds to pay for employee's household, office or lab moves. The maximum allotments apply to all types of moves (Interstate, Intrastate, International, State assigned, and Self-moves). Maximum allotments include the costs for a single move of household goods, personal effects, and property used in a dwelling, including normal equipment and supplies used to maintain the dwelling being moved from an old residence to a new station. Maximum weight allotments do not apply to laboratory moves.
Checklists and How-To Guides
The Lump Sum Option is still the preferred method for all move-related reimbursements.
- For all move-related reimbursements, please see the Reimbursement page.
- Review the Allowable and Non- Allowable items