Frequently Asked Questions (Printable Version)
Is the Relocation Allowance intended to cover all of my relocation expenses?
No, your Relocation Allowance is intended to cover only those relocation expenses that are not specifically covered under other provisions of the Relocation Assistance Plan.
Do I need to keep track or report how the Relocation Allowance is spent?
No, you do not need to document or report how your Relocation Allowance is spent. However, its purpose is to assist you in covering miscellaneous expenses incurred as a result of your relocation. It is not intended as additional compensation or for the down payment on a home or new car.
Do I need to repay any unused portion of the Relocation Allowance?
No, you do not need to repay any unused portion of the Relocation Allowance.
Advance Trip (House Hunting Trip)
What expenses are covered under the Advance Trip provision?
Expenses covered on the Advance Trip include round-trip air transportation and/or mileage (including rental car, gasoline and mileage to/from airport, if applicable), reasonable meals and lodging for the employee and one household member. If the distance is less than 150 miles, up to four (4) round trips of mileage reimbursement is allowed, plus local mileage for house hunting.
Can I take my spouse and children on the Advance Trip?
Reimbursed expenses for the Advance Trip are limited to the employee and one household member.
Can I take more than one Advance Trip?
Additional trips are permitted if the distance to the new location is less than 150 miles.
How many days am I allowed for an Advance Trip?
For transferred employees, a maximum of 45 days are allowed for the Advance Trip and Temporary Living period combined. For experienced new employees, a maximum of 25 days are allowed.
Are child care expenses covered during the Advance Trip?
If you must pay a provider for the care of dependent children, elderly parents or an incapacitated spouse during the Advance Trip, those expenses are covered (See Relocation Assistance Plan for limitations).
Are pet kenneling expenses covered during the Advance Trip?
Yes (See Relocation Assistance Plan for limitations).
Travel Expenses (Final Trip to New Location)
What expenses are covered under the Travel provisions?
Transportation, reasonable meals and lodging expenses for the employee and household members are covered on the Final Trip to the new location. Lodging includes one night at the old location, one night at the new location and nights during travel. These expenses are in addition to
the 45 maximum days (transferee) or 25 maximum days (experienced new employee) allowed for Advance Trip/Temporary Living. It is expected the employee will use their personal vehicle(s) for this trip and one-way mileage will be reimbursed for up to 3 personal vehicles.
My family and I would rather fly to the new location and have our personal vehicle shipped. Will the airfare and vehicle shipping costs be covered under the Plan?
The shipment of one vehicle is permitted at Company expense if the distance to the new location is over 400 miles. However, if one vehicle is shipped, public transportation is not reimbursed and mileage is limited to two vehicles.
Shipment/Storage of Household Goods and Personal Effects
Can I move myself?
If no other means are used to move your household goods, the Company will reimburse you for the rental of leased towing equipment. If you use your personal vehicle to tow a rented trailer, the Company will reimburse you for the rental and pay you one and one-half times the current mileage reimbursement rate. If you rent a truck, the Company will reimburse you for the rental and the actual gas used by the truck. To be eligible for reimbursement, the leasing and/or towing must qualify as the most economical method of transportation.
How long can I keep my household goods in storage?
The Plan will pay for a maximum of 365 days of storage provided the storage days fall within your one year relocation period. This starts on the effective date of your transfer.
Can I access the items I have in permanent storage?
Items placed in long term storage are located in the moving
company’s warehouse and may not be readily accessible. Because of the time and cost involved in pulling items from storage, you are not permitted to access these items until they are delivered to your new location. (For international transfers you are allowed one shipment from stored items during your international assignment.)
What if my household goods are damaged during shipment? Can I submit a claim?
Your items are insured during shipment and storage. Please
contact the moving company or insurance carrier directly to submit a claim.
Can I ship one of my personal vehicles?
If the distance to the new location is over 400 miles, you can ship one vehicle. The shipment of any other vehicles will be at the employee’s expense. Keep in mind that public transportation is not reimbursed if you ship a vehicle. If transferring to Alaska, you are permitted to ship one vehicle
for each licensed driver.
Will the Company pay to ship my boat to the new location?
The cost to ship recreational vehicles includes both weight and weight additive (charge for the extra space used on the van). The Company will pay for a combined maximum of 1500 pounds for the weight and weight additive costs. Additional charges will be at the employee’s expense.
Will the Company pay to ship my pets?
Yes, the Plan will cover transportation costs for up to two household pets (such as cats and dogs) from the old location to the new location if it is not practical for the animals to accompany the employee in their vehicle. However, additional expenses such as vet expenses or crates required for shipment are not covered. Transportation costs for animals such as horses or livestock are not covered.
I moved into temporary housing at my new location. Will the Company pay to move me a second time when I purchase a home?
Yes, as long as you designate the first residence as temporary when you move into it and you make the second move within 12 months of your original transfer date.
Note: Does not apply to experienced new hires.
How many days are allowed for the Temporary Living period?
For transferred employees a maximum of 45 days is allowed for the Temporary Living and Advance Trip combined. For experienced new employees a maximum of 25 days is allowed. These days do not need to be used consecutively and can be used at either the old or new location. If you are moving into or out of Alaska or returning from an overseas assignment, an additional 25 days may be allowed, if necessary, for delays in the arrival of your household goods.
What expenses are covered for the Temporary Living period?
Reasonable meals/grocery items and lodging are covered during the Temporary Living period.
Are rental cars and fuel covered during the Temporary Living period?
If necessary, a maximum of 30 days is allowed for the rental of one vehicle. This does not include fuel for the rental car.
Are child care expenses covered during the Temporary Living period?
No, it is assumed that during the Temporary Living period the family is together as a unit and any child care needs are the responsibility of the employee.
Are telephone charges reimbursable during the Temporary Living period?
No, telephone charges are not reimbursable during the Temporary Living period.
If I stay with family or friends during the Temporary Living Period, am I eligible for the reimbursement of any lodging expenses?
The Company does not provide any lodging reimbursement during the Temporary Living period if you are staying with family or friends. However, groceries purchased in this situation would be reimbursable.
Home Sale Assistance
I don’t want to participate in the Home Sale Assistance program. Will the Company still reimburse me for home sale expenses?
If you sell your home without the assistance of the relocation company, you will be eligible for reimbursement of customary selling expenses if you complete the sale no later than 90 days after you have rejected the guaranteed offer or refused to participate in the Home Sale Assistance program. If you do not complete the sale within this timeframe, you will not be eligible for the reimbursement of home selling expenses.
Can I select the realtor I want to list with?
The Company is using a Broker Registration program with Relocation Properties Management. You may select the real estate agent you want to use but you must let your RPM relocation consultant know who the agent is before speaking to them. The listing agreement you sign with your agent must contain a specific exclusion clause.
Why can’t the appraisals be done at the very beginning of the process?
Employees are expected to actively market their home in order to produce a sale. If the home sells during the 60-day marketing period, appraisals are not necessary. In addition, if appraisals were completed at the beginning of the process, employees might have no incentive to actively participate in the sale of their home.
I don’t agree with the guaranteed offer (appraised value) of my home. Is there anything I can do?
While you are entitled to appeal the guaranteed offer because you do not agree with the appraised value of your home, disappointment is not a valid reason to re-evaluate the appraisal. You must provide valid information as to why you feel the appraisal should be re-examined.
If I decline the guaranteed offer, does the Company offer any other Home Sale assistance?
If you decline the guaranteed offer, the Plan still allows for the reimbursement of customary home selling costs as long as you complete the sale within 90 days from the date you reject the guaranteed offer.
I have made several improvements to my home. Are these improvements included in the loss on sale calculation?
In some situations, the Plan may allow for certain home improvements to be included in the loss on sale calculation (See the Relocation Assistance Plan for details).
NOTE: Experienced new hires are not eligible for the loss-on-sale provisions.
I own two homes. Are both homes eligible for Home Sale assistance?
No, only your primary residence is eligible for home sale assistance.
Home Purchase Assistance
Are all of my closing costs covered?
If you owned a home at your old location and purchase a home at the new location within 12 months of your original relocation, all reasonable and customary closing costs are covered. Loan origination fees are capped at $500 for transferred employees and $250 for experienced new hires.
(Please see Relocation Assistance Plan for limitations on reimbursement of loan discount fees, based on interest rates.)
I was a renter at my old location. Am I still eligible for home purchase assistance?
If you were a renter at the old location, you are eligible for reimbursement of up to a maximum of $1,000 towards closing costs on the purchase of a home in your new location. (applies to transferred employees only)
Do I have to use a lender from the list provided by RPM?
You can use any lender you want. However, the lenders recommended by RPM are familiar with Marathon’s Relocation Plan and know what closing costs are covered by the Plan. In addition these lenders will direct bill the relocation company 50% of the reimbursable loan discount points and 100% of the other reimbursable closing costs. If you use your own lender make sure the lender is aware of the closing costs that are covered by the Plan.
I used a national lender who direct billed my home purchase costs. Do I still need to include a
settlement statement with my relocation expense report?
Yes, you should provide a copy of the settlement statement so the direct-bill line items and amounts can be audited. You should also include home inspections receipts that may have been paid outside of closing and not direct billed.
Can I request an equity advance greater than the required down payment on my new home?
No, the amount of your equity advance cannot exceed the lesser of the equity you have in your home or the amount
necessary to cover the down payment. Any remaining equity will be returned to you at closing.
Duplicate Expenses (Transferred Employees Only)
What are duplicate expenses?
If you buy or rent a home prior to closing the sale of your home in the old location, you may incur expenses associated with maintaining both homes concurrently. This includes real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, mortgage interest and necessary utilities (gas, electric, water/sewage).
Why is the timeframe for the reimbursement of duplicate expenses?
Duplicate expenses can start no earlier than the date you list your home at the old location for sale. If you sell your home during the 60 Marketing Assistance Period or 30 day Guaranteed Offer Period, or accept the Guaranteed Offer, duplicate expenses will be reimbursed until the title to the property is transferred.
Transfer Allowance Advances/Expenses
Can I use my Company T&E card to pay for relocation expenses?
Yes, you can use your T&E card. However, when you load your expenses into Expense Express, you must select the category “Relocation”. By selecting this category, the expense becomes a personal expense to you and you must either opt for payroll deduction or write a check to the credit card company. If funds are needed to pay for relocation expenses processed through Expense Express, you can request an advance. For T&E card instructions, please click here.
Tax Treatment of Relocation Expenses
Are all of my reimbursed relocation expenses taxable to me?
All reimbursed expenses are taxable to you except those expenses determined by the IRS to be excludable (nontaxable). Those items considered non-taxable are shipment of household goods, airfare and lodging on the final trip to your new location, first 30 days of storage and part of your mileage reimbursement on the final trip to your new location.
Does the Company provide a tax allowance on all reimbursed relocation expenses?
The Company provides a tax allowance on most taxable relocation expenses. However, expenses that can be included with an employee’s itemized deductions when filing their income tax return are not eligible for a tax allowance.
My taxable relocation expenses caused me to lose my child tax credit when filing my federal income tax
return. What can I do?
Employees who provide documentation that eligible taxable
moving expenses, when added to all other taxable income, results in the employee’s AGI exceeding a threshold and
making the employee ineligible to claim a credit, may be reimbursed by the Company for the lost tax credits. In
addition, if a tax allowance is not paid on expenses that are tax deductible, the employee may request a tax allowance
be paid on those items provided they submit a copy of their federal tax return showing that the standard deduction was
used in lieu of itemizing deductions.
For additional information on tax allowances, please click here.
I don’t want my family to move until school is out. Can I get an extension on my 12 month relocation
Exceptions to the Relocation Assistance Policy may be granted but require the approval of the organizational Vice President and the Manager, Human Resources Services. Keep in mind that extensions beyond the Plan’s 12
month requirement for completing a transfer may result in reimbursements being taxable. In such cases, the added tax
costs will be borne by the employee.