Relocation Service (Transfer Service)
The term relocation service refers to the benefits a company provides an individual that needs to move their home due to a job transfer or offer of employment. Generally, companies will attempt to pay all of the costs associated with moving, which includes a number of important services.
Also known as a transfer package, relocation services assist employees accepting a new position in an organization or those that may be transferred to another company location. Oftentimes companies will reimburse employees for the full cost to relocate their home. Another approach taken by some companies is to provide the employee with a fixed, or flat, amount deemed sufficient to pay for the expenses of moving.
When this benefit is offered, the company may pay the direct expenses associated with moving such as:
- Selling and buying a home, including paying for closing costs
- Lease cancellation fees
- Airfare, ground transportation, and mileage expenses
- Shipping and temporary storage of personal belongings, automobiles, and furniture
- Temporary housing / lodging and sustenance expenses (such as food)
Relocation benefits can also include services that help ease the transition such as home sale, purchase, and marketing assistance.
Tax Deductible Moving Expenses
If an employer doesn’t provide a relocation package, it may be possible to deduct the moving expenses on a federal income tax return. To qualify, both of the following tests must be satisfied:
- Time: the employee must work full time for a minimum of 39 weeks during the first 12 months after arriving at their new job. Self-employed persons must work at least 78 weeks in the first 24 months.
- Distance: the new job must be at least 50 miles further from the “old” home than the prior job location.