Michigan State University
Controller's Office

Administration Bldg
426 Auditorium Rd, Rm 305
East Lansing, MI 48824
517 355-5020

SECTION 53: Moving Expenses

Last reviewed: February 2018

Last updated: February 2018

Note: For moving expenses incurred before January 1, 2018, please contact Payroll (355-5010) to determine payment and reporting method. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December 2017 has changed the taxability of moving expense payments.

I. Eligibility

Faculty (at the rank of instructor and above), academic, professional, and executive management staff who are either new or reassigned and are moving from outside a radius of 50 miles to the MSU work location. For example, if the former job location was 3 miles from the former home, the new job location must be at least 53 miles from that former home. The distance test only considers the location of the former home and does not take into consideration the location of the new home. Payment for moving expenses is not an entitlement; in all cases, it is an option to be agreed upon between the unit administrator(s) and the prospective faculty/staff member.

II. Amount

Up to $10,000 with the recommendation and approval of the Dean, Director, or Chairperson. Amounts exceeding $10,000 must be approved by the Provost (or designate) or the Executive Vice President for Administrative Services (or designate), or the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer (or designate).  An MAU or unit may establish a more restrictive moving expense policy and may limit moving expenses as deemed appropriate.

III. Payment

Moving expenses must be paid to the employee as a taxable allowance. In conformity with IRS regulations, the entire moving expense allowance will be reported as taxable income and included on the employee’s W-2 statement at the end of the year. Applicable taxes will be withheld and reported.

For a new employee, employment forms must be completed (i.e. the employee’s job must be in the HR/Payroll system) before moving expenses can be paid.

  1. For faculty and academic staff, complete an Additional Payment Form (Exhibit 55-J)to process the Moving Expense Allowance payment. Attach the offer letter or agreement supporting the allowance amount.
  2. For support staff, complete a Special Payment Authorization Form (Exhibit 55-I) to process the Moving Expense Allowance payment. Attach the offer letter or agreement supporting the allowance amount.

IV. Moving Services

Employees are encouraged to utilize MSU’s contracted moving company suppliers. Please note that all costs for moving services are to be borne by the employee.

V. Foreign Moving Expenses

Please contact Payroll at 355-5010.

VI. Exhibits/Forms