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Relocation Reimbursement Procedures - Step By Step

The procedures below ensure all payments are in compliance with University and IRS rules and regulations.

  • For an eligible class of employee, the University will pay directly for most moving expenses including household goods, personal effects and transportation to minimize the traveler’s out-of-pocket costs and income tax reporting for the employees in connection with non-taxable expenses.
  • Non-excludable expenses (house hunting trips, real estate, temporary housing and meals) must be included in the employee’s gross income. The UCLA Payroll Office deducts the appropriate tax percentage from the employee’s federal and state tax and will reimburse the employee for the expense.
  • At the time of hiring, departments should explain to the new appointee the tax issues involved in the non-deductible (non-excludable) portion of the move.
  • If the new appointee is coming from a foreign country to provide services as an employee, a visa status that includes work authorization is required. Typical acceptable visa status types at UCLA include: J1, J2, H series, K1, K2, O series, Green Card, TN. For details, contact the UCLA Payroll Office. 

Obtain Authorization

Academic Appointees: In most cases the department chair or dean issues an offer letter to new academic appointees. This letter includes the hiring agreement and an itemized list of allowable relocation expenses.

The hiring department must submit a copy of the offer letter to the Academic Personnel Office. Relocation expenses are not provided automatically; the Academic Personnel Office must receive a copy of the offer letter, including the authorizing signature, to approve moving expenses for academic appointees.

Staff Appointees: For non-academic appointees, the department head’s signature on the offer letter includes the hiring agreement and an itemized list of allowable relocation expenses.


Choose a Moving Company

Provide the new appointee with a list of the University’s contracted moving companies. See Household Goods Moves for more information.

If the new appointee is coming from another country, he or she should still contact UCLA’s contracted moving companies; the moving company will arrange the move with one of their own agents within that country.


Obtain an Estimate

Instruct the traveler to:

  1. Obtain an estimate in writing from two or more of the moving companies on the list.
  2. Advise you, preferably in writing, of the chosen company and the estimate amount.
    The estimate should include only those expenses for which the University will pay.

Process the Order

Use one of the following methods:

  • If the selected quote is less than $50,000, process a Low-Value Order (L.V.O.) with order-class code (A), and fax the order to the vendor. 
  • If the selected quote is over $50,000, process a purchase requisition [request for purchase order (P.O)] with order-class code (R). 

Fax copies of all estimates to the Campus Purchasing Department. Campus Purchasing will issue a P.O., and the vendor will contact the employee to make the final arrangements.


Traveler Pays for Uncovered Moving Expenses

After the move, the traveler must pay the movers cash on delivery (C.O.D.) for any services provided that are not covered by the University.


Moving Company is Paid for Covered Expenses

The University receives the mover’s invoice directly and makes the payment for allowable expenses to the moving company. The UC Travel Accounting department automatically pays all invoices up to 5% over the total invoiced amount.


Arrange for Airfare

Any airfare arrangements for the new employee and eligible family members should be made through the UC Travel Center. He or she should then advise the department of the specifics of the travel arrangements (flight number and airline) as soon as possible.