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purchasing   /  Employee Moving

Employee Moving Expenses

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Effective 2018, the tax law has now changed. 

UAB does not have an IRS accountable plan for reimbursing employee moving expenses. UAB may pay moving expenses to an approved moving vendor (Accounts Payable) and/or moving compensation to the employee (Payroll). With either type of payment, the agreement should be documented in the formal employment offer.

Note: Non-employees (e.g. UAB students or trainees, non-compensated volunteers, independent contractors) do not qualify for moving expense reimbursement.

Accounts Payable Payments - payments made to a third party; not taxable to the employee.

UAB purchase orders can be used to pay for the professional moving company's services by initiating a UAB Purchase Order Requisition clearly identified as "employee moving expenses" using the Employee Moving Expenses object code and the contracted provider.

The link below is a comprehensive list of contracted moving vendors.

Contracted Moving Vendors.


  • UAB covers only the cost of a professional moving company's transportation of household goods
  • Employee move must occur within one year (excluding extreme circumstances e.g. family emergencies)
  • Employee moving expenses apply only to members of the employee's household

Note: Mileage Reimbursement is limited to the published IRS rate. (See Mileage Reimbursement Policy)

Items NOT typically covered include but are not limited to:

  • "Household member" does not include a tenant or household employee, unless the UAB employee claims that person as a dependent on his/her tax return.
  • Temporary storage of household goods
  • Temporary Housing
  • Meals
  • Expenses related to buying or selling a home
  • Expense of breaking a lease
  • Cost of insuring or storing household goods
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Cost of transferring equipment or other property from one institution to another for business purposes (vs for personal use).

Note: The most common example of business moving costs involves moving laboratory equipment with a sponsored project from a recruit's former university to UAB. Such UAB business expenses must be handled with a separate UAB purchase order using the moving services object code.

Therefore, for combined moves, the vendor will have to bid/quote and invoice the business portion of the move separately from the personal portion. (All such property transferred from other universities must be promptly reported by the recruit's department to the UAB Equipment Accounting office.)

Payroll Services Payments - payments made directly to the employee; subject to tax withholdings. Typically, the amount is a fixed dollar amount and must be stated in the hire letter or an university approved moving program. It is the employee's responsibility to maintain receipts for year-end tax reporting. In addition to the assignment categories listed below, 03 Regular Part-Time employees are eligible for the non-accountable plan payment.

An ACT document will need to be created with the document reason of Nonrecurring Element. The element is "Moving Allowance".


  • Moving Allowance may not be charged to a grant funding source
  • Employee must be in one of the following assignment categories:
    • 01 Full-Time
    • 07 Resident
    • 12 Three Twelve Hour Shifts
    • 17 Weekend Nurse
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