Policy Manual

Relocation Expenses

GC Relocation Expense Policy

USG Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual: Policy on Relocation Expenses

USG Business Procedures Manual 5.3.7

Georgia College is permitted to pay relocation expenses of a specific amount that is set out in the original written offer letter of employment. “Original written offer” is emphasized because any post-offer negotiated amounts will be considered a violation of the gratuities clause of the Constitution of the State of Georgia.

 

Policy Implementation/Procedural Guidelines:

Relocation expense assistance may be paid in a lump sum for new employees if funds are available in the department or school/college/unit budget. The maximum amount permitted for payment to a qualified new employee is $20,000. All relocation payment requests must be approved by the appropriate Vice President or Dean.

The institution may make a lump sum payment for relocation expense assistance for the following positions:
President*, Vice President, Associate/Assistant Vice President, Dean, Assistant/Associate Dean, Faculty, Director, Chief and other approved positions.

*President level employee negotiations are coordinated outside of Georgia College and not subject to the $20,000 cap.

Tax Implications:

GC follows the non-accountable plan which means expenses will be paid as a taxable lump sum. Individuals receiving a relocation expense payment should be aware of all personal income tax implications and should consult a professional with tax questions. Per IRS** guidelines, an individual must meet the following three criteria to be qualified for a lump sum payment from Georgia College for relocation expenses:

  1. The move must be closely related, both in time and in place, to the start of work at a person’s new job location.
  2. The new workplace must be at least 50 miles farther from the employees’ former home than the old workplace.
  3. The employee must work full time in the area of the new workplace for at least 39 weeks during the 12 months immediately after the move.

If the employee’s spouse is otherwise eligible for moving and relocation expenses from Georgia College, payment of a lump sum will be paid to one employee to move the primary household to the new location.

**IRS Publication 521 outlines permitted and prohibited relocation expenses. Please consult this publication to ensure proper use of relocation expense assistance.

 

Payment/Reimbursement Rules and Guidelines for the employee:

In general, relocation and moving expenses will be paid as a taxable lump sum; however, upon the employee’s request, the University may make payment directly to a third party commercial mover. If payment will be made directly to a third party commercial moving company, the Hiring Official will work with the Purchasing Department on behalf of the new employee to ensure that all state purchasing regulations are followed. If Georgia College is paying a moving company on behalf of the employee, the new employee is required to obtain three separate quotes from commercial moving companies. The quotes must be submitted to the University as evidence that the company selected is providing the best services within a competitive cost range.

The employee will be paid the lump sum, outlined in the original offer letter, within 30 days of the start date of work at Georgia College. If a third party commercial mover is paid by the University, the employee will be paid the remaining balance within 30 days of the vendor being paid. Any payment made to and on behalf of an employee for relocation expenses shall be added to the employees W-2.

In accordance with IRS Publication 521 and the signed Relocation Agreement, any new employee who terminates before working 39 weeks in a 12 month period will be responsible for reimbursing all relocation expenses to the Institution within 30 days. This includes all expenses paid to or on behalf of the employee. The Hiring Official is responsible for notifying Human Resources if an employee is a no-show or terminates prior to working 39 weeks in a 12 month period.  

Access the forms page: Relocation Assistance Agreement

 

 

Relocation Expense Policy

Internal Process

 

  1. Prior to verbal offer:
    1. Staff hires - Hiring Official works with Employment Services to complete hiring process; Hiring official should consult with Employment Services on relocation expense eligibility, prior to a verbal offer.
    2. Faculty – Hiring Official works with Deans Office in collaboration with Academic Affairs to complete hiring process; Hiring official should consult with Deans Office in collaboration with Academic Affairs on relocation expense eligibility, prior to a verbal offer.

       

  2. Relocation Agreement is initiated by Hiring Official and sent to the Employee in conjunction with the Offer Letter and any other onboarding documents.

     

  3. Employee selects reimbursement option, signs the agreement, and returns it to the Hiring Official with hiring documents.

     

  4. Hiring Official completes the fund source (department #), signs, and submits to the next level of approval. Leave payroll distribution blank.  If a third party commercial mover is used, the Hiring Official follows all State Purchasing guidelines as outlined in the Relocation Expense Policy.
  5. Relocation Agreement is routed to the division VP for signature and returned to the Hiring Official.

     

  6. Fully executed agreement is routed to Employment Services (staff) or Academic Affairs (faculty) by hiring official with all other hiring documents.

     

  7. Employment Services (staff) or Academic Affairs (faculty) forwards agreement to the Budget Office for payroll distribution.

     

  8. Budget Office forwards agreement to Payroll.
    1. If a 3rd party vendor is used, the Hiring Official works with Materials Management and the employee to ensure compliance with State purchasing guidelines. Once 3rd party is confirmed, Hiring Official enters requisition for 3rd party payment.
    2. Hiring Official notifies Budget Office and Payroll if there is a remaining balance to be paid to the employee.

 

  1. Payroll verifies employee start date.
  2. Payroll issues a lump sum payment within 30 days of the start of work, or issues payment after notification from the Hiring Official that there is a remaining balance once a 3rd party vendor has been issued payment.

- Any payment made to and on behalf of an employee for relocation expense shall be added to the employees W-2.