.100 General

The intent of providing a Moving and Relocation Stipend is to assist employees with moving and relocation expenses as a result of accepting employment with the University.

Effective January 1, 2019, the University’s policy is to provide Moving and Relocation Stipends to eligible employees.  All stipend amounts paid to employees are reflected on employee W-2 tax withholding statements as taxable income and will have appropriate federal and state income taxes withheld.  This section includes the rules, guidelines, specific limitations and restrictions when providing Moving and Relocation Stipends to employees for relocating their household to accommodate James Madison University.

The amount of a Moving and Relocation Stipend offered to an employee is determined by individual departments based on funding available and is subject to approval by the applicable dean/assistant vice president and the Assistant Vice President for Finance.  Additional approvals may be required from applicable divisional Vice Presidents depending on the amount of stipend offered.

Payroll Services processes all Moving and Relocation Stipends within 30 days after the employee start date via the payroll process.

Address questions concerning these procedures to Payroll Services, Telephone x88034.

.200 Definitions

Agency James Madison University (JMU).
Approving Authority President, Vice President, Assistant Vice President, Dean, Asst/Assoc Dean, Director, or Department Head who is the Approving Authority for the DeptID.
Days All references to "days" refer to calendar days.
Moving Actions to change the place of a primary residence.
Personal Residence House, condominium, townhouse, or rental property (for example, apartment, flat) where the employee maintains a permanent primary household.
Relocation The process of establishing and settling in a particular place for employment purposes.
State Employee Any elected, appointed, salaried, or classified employee of a State agency or institution.
Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement An agreement to remain in the employment of the Commonwealth from the first day in the new position until twelve (12) months after.

NOTE: This is not the JMU Employment Contract.  The Assistant Vice President for Finance, or Designee, must also sign this form.

.300 Eligibility

The eligibility of any employee for receiving a Moving and Relocation Stipend is at the discretion of James Madison University.  The University will notify employees of any limitations of scope or University policy that may affect the eligibility.

.310 Employee

The employee must be a full-time salaried employee of James Madison University, as defined by the University.

.320 Relocation

To be eligible for a Moving and Relocation Stipend, the employee's relocation must meet all of the following conditions:

At Employer's Request

Relocation must be at the request of the employing agency (James Madison University) and for the good of the Commonwealth as determined by the department's approving authority.

Distance

The distance between the employee's new work location and the former residence must be at least fifty (50) miles greater than the distance between the employee's old work location and the former residence. That is, the employee's commuting distance must have increased by at least fifty (50) miles one way. For example, if the original commuting distance from the former residence to the old work site was 10 miles, the new work site must be at least sixty (60) miles. That is, ten (10) miles, original commuting distance, plus the fifty (50) mile increase from the former residence.

Permanent

The employee must satisfactorily maintain employment on a full-time basis with James Madison University for at least one year. The year begins on the date that the employee starts work regularly at the new location. The Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement documents the terms and conditions according to subsection .400, "Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement" of this section.

.400 Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement

Any department that offers an employee a stipend must execute an Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement.  The employee must sign this agreement with James Madison University before beginning employment at JMU. The agreement stipulates:

  • If the employee’s spouse is a State employee and otherwise eligible for a Moving and Relocation Stipend, the University will only provide a stipend to one employee.
  • The employee must remain employed on a full-time basis with James Madison University for at least one year, beginning on the date that the employee starts work at the new location.
  • If the employee ends employment with James Madison University before the obligated one year of service, the employee will repay the University a prorated portion of the gross stipend amount. The University will prorate, on a monthly basis, the amount for repayment so that each full month during which the Employee remained employed by the University, the amount of repayment is reduced by one-twelfth (1/12) of the total gross stipend. 
  • The University, in its sole discretion, may waive repayment if the Employee is separated for reason beyond the Employee’s control, but termination for cause shall not be deemed a reason beyond the Employee’s control.

.410 Approvals

The Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement requires approval from the applicable dean/assistant vice president of the department from which the stipend will be paid and from the Assistant Vice President for Finance, or designee.  Additional approvals from divisional Vice President and/or the Vice President for Administration and Finance may be required if maximum departmental limits are exceeded. 

.500 Responsibilities

.510 Department

  • Ensures the eligibility of a new employee to receive a Moving and Relocation Stipend, as outlined in section .300 of this policy.
  • Completes the Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement, obtains signatures of applicable dean/assistant vice president, and forwards to the Assistant Vice President for Finance (MSC 5719) for approval.
  • Initiates electronic PAR form authorizing payment of Moving and Relocation Stipend to the employee from departmental budget, attaching the approved Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement as support.

.520 Assistant Vice President for Finance

  • Review and approve Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement.
  • Obtain signature of divisional Vice Presidents, if applicable.
  • Returns the Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement to the originating department.

.530 Human Resources

  • Receive and process all electronic PAR forms, ensuring electronic PAR forms and Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreements match.

.540 Payroll Services

  • Processes electronic PAR form timely to ensure payment of stipend to employee within 30 days of employment.
  • Ensures that Moving and Relocation Stipends meet both employer withholding and employee reporting of gross income and applicable payroll taxes as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. (Refer to Subsection .800 "IRS Reporting," for additional information).
  • Collects the total gross amount of all moving and relocation payments if an employee does not satisfy the terms of the Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement. Prorates or waives repayment of stipends from the employee if properly approved.  Adjusts the employee's gross income to reflect the total amount received by the University.

.600 Processing Procedures

This subsection provides detailed procedures for processing stipend payments to employees for moving and relocation expenses.

.610 Department

  • Determines employee eligibility and maintains documentation supporting eligibility.
  • Completes the Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement and obtains signatures of the applicable dean/assistant vice president.
  • Forwards form to Assistant Vice President for Finance (MSC 5719) for approval.
  • Upon receiving the Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement form back from the Assistant Vice President for Finance, obtains employee signature and initiates/approves electronic PAR form (Supplemental Pay Form) authorizing payment of Moving and Relocation Stipend to the employee from departmental budget, attaching the Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement as support.
  • Reconciles charges during monthly departmental reconciliation process.

.620 Assistant Vice President for Finance

  • Review and approve Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement.
  • Obtain signature of divisional Vice Presidents, if applicable.
  • Return the Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement to the originating department.

.630 Human Resources

  • Receive and process all electronic PAR forms, ensuring PAR forms and Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreements match.

.640 Payroll Services

  • Receive electronic PAR forms with attached stipend agreement after Human Resource approval.
  • Reviews and audits submitted forms and attachments for accuracy, reasonableness, and completeness.
  • Makes necessary entries to the University Payroll System to effect payment to the employee in compliance and conformity with Commonwealth and University regulations and limitations.
  • Includes proper amounts on the employee's W-2 form.

.700 Forms Preparation and Submission

.710 Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement

.711 Required

Any department providing an employee a Moving and Relocation Stipend must execute this agreement before beginning employment at JMU.

.712 Where to Obtain Blank Forms

An electronic blank form is available ONLINE.

.713 Number of Copies

Complete one copy.

.714 Where to Send Completed Forms

Retain original Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement form in departmental files.  Scan and attach a copy of the completed form to the electronic PAR form.

.715 Form Preparation Instructions

This subsection provides detailed instructions for preparation of the Employee Moving and Relocation Stipend Agreement. Enter the following information only, leave all other areas blank.

  Offer Date: Date the employee is offered moving and relocation. This date must be prior to beginning employment at JMU.
Amount: Amount of M&R Stipend.
  Employee Name: The full name of the employee.
  Department Name: The name of the department.
  Employ Date: Date employment begins.
  Departmental Contact: Name and phone number of departmental contact.
  Employee: The employee must sign in ink certifying to the terms of agreement. Electronic signatures are not acceptable.
Date: Date the employee signs the agreement.
  AVP, Finance: The signature of the Assistant Vice President for Finance, or Designee. 
  Date: Date the Assistant Vice President for Finance, or Designee, signs the agreement.
AVP / Dean: The signature of the appropriate Dean or Assistant Vice President.
Date: Date the AVP/Dean signs the agreement.
Divisional VP: The signature of the appropriate divisional Vice President, if applicable.
Date: Date the Vice President signs the agreement.
VP for Admin and Finance: The signature of the Vice President for Administration and Finance, if applicable.
Date: Date the Vice President for Administration and Finance signs the agreement.

.800 IRS Reporting

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed H.R. 1, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, into law. Effective 2018, all M&R expenses previously considered non-taxable are TAXABLE.

Under this new tax law, the University must add Moving and Relocation Stipend amounts to the employee's W-2 tax withholding statement as taxable income. Appropriate Federal and State income taxes are withheld at the following supplemental rates:  Federal Income Tax Withholding (22%), State Income Tax Withholding (5.75%), and Social Security Tax Withholding (7.65%).

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