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What are Relocation Expenses?

By Tiffany Manley
Updated May 16, 2024
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Relocation expenses are expenses that are incurred as a result of a move. This usually refers to a person's relocation resulting from new employment. Many companies offer to pay a person’s relocation expenses as an employment offer. These expenses might include moving expenses, travel expenses incurred while traveling from the old location to the new location, the buying and selling of a home, temporary storage and temporary housing. Covered expenses vary from company to company, so it is important for one to verify what relocation expenses are covered by his or her employer and how these expenses will be paid.

Moving expenses might include the cost of hiring professional movers or the cost of moving supplies purchased so an individual might move on his or her own. Many times the new employee is allowed to choose whether he or she wants to be moved professionally or to do it on his or her own. Having professionals do the work is an option that many people choose, because it is sometimes easier than having to worry about acquiring supplies, packing and loading boxes. Understanding clearly what qualifies as covered relocation expenses and what does not is important because a person might be responsible for any incurred costs that are not covered.

Travel expenses are another expense that might be incurred as a result of relocation. Oftentimes, a move for new employment requires travel across great distances, necessitating hotel stays and vehicle expenses. One should ensure that all receipts from travel expenses are retained so that they can be turned in for reimbursement.

Some companies offer home buying and selling assistance as part of a relocation package. This assistance varies from company to company and can be as simple as providing a realtor directory or as involved as paying for closing costs and other costs. The use of these services is usually optional and must be sought out by the new employee.

After a new employee has arrived in his or her new city, temporary lodging and storage of goods might be necessary. Some relocation packages provide for reimbursement of these expenses, or a place for the new employee and his or her family to stay. One should be careful to note any time limits imposed on this type of benefit.

Many companies are unable to pay relocation expenses until an individual is on the payroll and all required documentation has been submitted to the company's human resources department. One should keep this in mind when planning his or her move so that all expenses are budgeted and covered until the reimbursement is received. Keeping track of all receipts and correspondence might help expedite the process.

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