Policy Section: Employment
Subsection: Hiring Practices
The University normally reimburses eligible newly hired regular monthly-paid staff and faculty1 for reasonable expenses incurred when relocating to the Princeton area. To be eligible for reimbursement, new employees must move a minimum of 50 miles from their present home within the first year of hire and have a reasonable expectation of remaining in their position for longer than one year.
Employees relocating must obtain prior approval for all arrangements and expenses from the Office of Human Resources, which also sets the dollar limit for reimbursement of specific and various out-of-pocket expenses. According to current tax laws, all moving expense reimbursements are considered taxable income to the employee. This law also applies to direct payments by the University on behalf of the employee, such as direct payments by Princeton to a moving company. As a result, all moving expenses paid by Princeton University must be reported on the employee’s payroll W-2 form as taxable income.
The University assists individuals and their families in making travel arrangements for a pre-move visit to search for a house or apartment and for relocation. HR identifies the most appropriate vendors to use for relocation and provides employees with applicable information.
Newly hired individuals should contact HR as soon as appropriate for assistance with travel arrangements, including hotel, rental car, etc., for themselves and their family. Individuals hired by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory may call the PPPL HR office at (609) 243-2000.
Siracusa Moving and Storage Company, phone no. (800) 222-1399, coordinates most but not all University moves and bills the University directly for costs associated with moving household items covered by this policy. Typically, there is no cash outlay to or by employees, but this expense is considered taxable income and reportable on the individuals’ W-2 form.
Employees moved by Siracusa are automatically covered for up to $50,000 of insurance. Those who need to move additional items not covered by this policy or want additional insurance coverage are responsible for paying those related expenses.
After first speaking with the onboarding administrator in HR, employees should contact Siracusa directly for assistance.
Individuals with questions can contact their Talent Acquisition Specialist.
Expenses normally reimbursed include:
- One pre-move visit, including meals, tips, lodging, and rental car not to exceed three calendar days
- Transportation charges for one continuous move of household items and personal effects from the current domicile to the Princeton area
- Container costs for household items, including book cartons, wardrobes, linen cartons, dish packs, mattress carton, and corrugated cartons for mirrors and pictures
- Packing charges for breakable items such as dishes, glassware, lamps, mirrors, and pictures and for mattresses and box springs
- For family members, reasonable and customary expenses for transportation to the new location, including lodging not to exceed three calendar days
- Pre- and post-servicing of appliances following normal tariff regulations
Expenses not normally reimbursed are:
- Charges for moving laboratory equipment, office equipment, houseplants, pianos, perishable food, firewood, boats, building materials, domestic and non-domestic animals, and automobiles
- Packing and unpacking of normal household goods — with the exception of breakable items, mattresses, and box springs
- Expedited service — unless requested by the University
- Costs for replacing household items not transported to the Princeton area
- Temporary or interim lodging or accommodations
- Temporary storage of household items or vehicles
In order to qualify for reimbursement under this policy, an employee must use the Siracusa moving company or another company approved by HR or PPPL HR as applicable. If an employee uses a company that was not preapproved by HR, the individual requests reimbursement from the onboarding administrator.
To request reimbursement for various out-of-pocket expenses incurred, the employee must email all original or scanned and/or signed receipts along with a HR Guest Travel Expense Reimbursement Request form to the Office of Human Resources or PPPL as appropriate. Reimbursement may include the cost of meals including tips, lodging, transportation, car rental, and other necessary and reasonable living expenses, not to exceed three calendar days. The University reimburses for mileage at its current flat rate. Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable.
11/8/2017: Updates regarding new travel management company
1/26/2018: Notice about impending changes to tax code.
2/26/2018: Updates based on changes in 2018 to IRS tax code