Moving Expenses

Category: Employment
Number: EMP-010-020
Audience: All University employees
Issued: October 01, 1997
Revised: July 16, 2019
Owner(s): AVP (Human Resources)
Approved by: VP (Administration)
Contact: Director, Pension & Benefits - 306-585-4575

Introduction

This policy outlines the University’s position on paying moving allowances to recruit top talent. Moving allowances are intended to reduce the financial impact of relocation, not to cover every expense associated with relocation.

Policy

The University will assist new permanent or tenure-track academic staff members and senior administrators with the cost of relocation of residence or travel to a University of Regina location (unless the individual already resides within 50 kilometers of the University).

For Canadian residents, an upfront lump sum payment of one month’s salary is made. An individual must fit one of these categories to be considered a Canadian resident:

  • Ordinarily resident – Canada is the place where the individual, in the settled routine of their life, regularly, normally or customarily lives.
  • Factual resident – although the individual is not in Canada, they are still considered a resident of Canada for income tax purposes because of residential ties to Canada.
  • Deemed resident – the individual stays in Canada for 183 days or more in that tax year; does not have residential ties with Canada; and is not considered a resident of another country under the terms of a tax treaty.

For non-Canadian residents, the amount is increased to one and one-half month’s salary.

Only in extenuating circumstances may the amount or eligibility deviate from this policy. Prior to the appointment, written authority of the Provost and Vice President (Academic) for academic appointments and academic administrative appointments, the Vice-President (Administration) for non-academic administrators, and the Vice-President (Research) for research-related appointments is required.

Term Appointments

In special circumstances and upon prior written approval by the Dean or the Associate Vice-President, the University may assist term appointees as follows:

  • One-half of the amount specified above for a one (1) year term appointment.
  • The full amount specified above for appointments of two years or more.

Two Appointments, One Individual

If an individual who is appointed as a term or visiting faculty member is subsequently appointed to a tenure-track faculty position which replaces or runs consecutively with the original appointment, an allowance is permitted for both appointments up to the maximum associated with the tenure-track faculty appointment.

Two Individual Appointments, One Residence

In the case of simultaneous appointments of two individuals constituting one household, the total permitted as an allowance or reimbursement for expenses is one and one half times the individual rate.

Resignation during Appointment

In the event that an individual resigns within two years of the start of their appointment, the University requires that a pro-rated amount of the allowance be repaid. A pro-rated amount must be repaid by term appointees who resign prior to the end of their term appointment. Outstanding amounts will be deducted from any money owing on the final pay deposit.

Consequences for Noncompliance

An employee who submits a Reimbursement Claim that is not accompanied by the required documentation may not be reimbursed for expenses. An employee who submits a false Reimbursement Claim may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment, and may also be subject to collection agency pursuit, legal action, or referral to a law enforcement agency.

Processes

Paying the Allowance

  1. If the amount is to be other than the standard amount, it must be approved by the appropriate authority noted above prior to making a conditional offer to the candidate.
  2. The amount of the allowance to be paid is stipulated in the appointment letter issued by the University.
  3. Payments are made by Human Resources based on the start date of the appointment and the amount stipulated in the individual’s appointment letter.
  4. If the payment is to be made prior to the appointment date, a written request to Human Resources by the hiring administrator is required.
  5. No payment will be made if an offer of employment is declined or the individual is denied entry into Canada.

Paying Tax on the Allowance

Canadian Residents

The allowance is classed as taxable income, but tax is not withheld when the allowance is paid. It is the individual's responsibility to retain the moving receipts and to make the permitted moving expense deductions against income on their personal annual income tax return. As long as the moving expenses equal or exceed the moving allowance, the two offset each other resulting in no tax being payable on the taxable moving allowance.

Non-Canadian Residents

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does not permit moving expense deductions to individuals moving to a place of employment in Canada if the individual is not a Canadian resident for purposes of the Income Tax Act. This exception results in non-Canadian resident appointees receiving a taxable moving allowance with no ability to deduct the offsetting moving expenses, making the entire moving allowance subject to tax and other statutory deductions.

Therefore, non-Canadian residents accepting appointments are given two options:

  • receive the moving allowance in advance, subject to tax; or,
  • receive reimbursement for actual moving expenses incurred after they have been paid by the individual.

A request to receive reimbursement for actual moving expenses must be made at the time of appointment and before a taxable moving allowance is paid. Reimbursement of expenses is limited to the amount of the moving allowance stipulated in the individual’s appointment letter. The CRA will permit the University to reimburse such moving expenses as a non-taxable expense reimbursement.

In order to exercise this option, a non-Canadian resident appointee must:

  1. Notify Human Resources of their intention in writing at the time of appointment and before receiving a taxable moving allowance.
  2. Pay for all of their own moving expenses, retaining receipts to be submitted to Financial Services with a Reimbursement Claim Form.

Under this option, the CRA specifies precisely which expenses the University is permitted to reimburse to the individual. Only items identified on this list as not being a taxable benefit can be reimbursed. The moving expenses permitted for reimbursement can be found in Chapter 3 of CRA's publication Employer's Guide - Taxable Benefits.

Non-Canadian residents must submit eligible receipts for reimbursement within one year of their date of hire otherwise a taxable allowance will be paid. Upon written request to Human Resources, the payment may be delayed, up to a maximum of two years, from the date of hire.

In the event that the individual’s claim for reimbursement is less than the moving allowance granted, the balance will be paid by Human Resources as taxable income.

In all cases the employee must sign a declaration of residency prior to payment being made. The employee is responsible for any tax implications of their declaration.

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