Moving Expenses

Category: Employment
Number: EMP-010-020
Audience: All University employees
Issued: October 01, 1997
Revised: August 14, 2014
Owner(s): AVP (Human Resources)
Approved by: VP (Administration)
Contact: Associate Vice-President (Human Resources) - 306-585-5155

Introduction

This policy outlines the University’s position on paying moving allowances to new employees.

Policy

At the time of appointment, the University will assist new faculty members and administrative staff with the cost of relocation of residence or travel to the Regina Area (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 his or her life, regularly, normally or customarily lives.
  • Factual resident – although the individual is not in Canada, he or she is 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.

These amounts may be increased only upon the approval of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) for academic appointments, or the Vice-President (Administration) for administrative appointments, prior to the offer being made.

Part-time Appointments

Moving expenses for part-time appointments are decided on an individual basis. The amount is recommended by the Senior Administrator at the time the appointment is recommended and should be less than the amount allotted for a full time appointment.

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 the appointment, the University requires that a pro-rated amount of the allowance be repaid.

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, this must be approved prior to making a conditional offer to the candidate.
  2. The amount of the allowance to be paid is stipulated in the appointment letter.
  3. Payments are made by Human Resources at the time of appointment based on the amount stipulated in the individual’s appointment letter.

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.

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.

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.

Related Information