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Chapter 302—Relocation Allowances
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Subchapter A—Introduction

Part 302-2—Employee Eligibility Requirements

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5738; 20 U.S.C. 905(a).

Subpart A—General Rules

Note to Subpart A: Use of pronouns “I”, “you”, and their variants throughout this subpart refers to the employee.

§302-2.1  When may I begin my transfer or reassignment?

You may begin your transfer or reassignment only after your agency has approved your travel authorization (TA) in writing (paper or electronic).

§302-2.2  May I relocate to my new official station before I receive a written travel authorization (TA)?

No, you must have the written TA (paper or electronic) before you relocate to your new official station.

§302-2.3  What determines my entitlements and allowances for relocation?

Your entitlements and allowances for relocation are determined by the regulatory provisions that are in effect at the time you report for duty at your new official station. However, this does not change the requirement that all aspects of a relocation must be completed by time specified in §§302-2.8 through 302-2.12.

§302-2.4  What is my effective transfer or appointment date?

Your effective transfer or appointment date is the date on which you report for duty at your new or first official station, respectively.

§302-2.5  May I relocate from a location other than the location specified in my relocation travel authorization?

Yes, you may relocate from a place other than from where you are authorized. However, you will be required to pay all additional costs incurred for expenses above your authorized travel and transportation cost.

§302-2.6  May I be reimbursed for relocation expenses if I relocate to a new official station that does not meet the 50-mile distance test?

Generally no; you may not be reimbursed for relocation expenses if you relocate to a new official station that does not meet the 50-mile distance test.

(a) The distance test is met when the new official station is at least 50 miles further from the employee’s current residence than the old official station is from the same residence. For example, if the old official station is 3 miles from the current residence, then the new official station must be at least 53 miles from that same residence in order to receive relocation expenses for residence transactions. The distance between the official station and residence is the shortest of the commonly traveled routes between them. The distance test does not take into consideration the location of a new residence. This follows the distance guidelines found in Internal Revenue Service Publication 521, Moving Expenses.

(b) The head of your agency or designee may authorize an exception to the 50-mile threshold on a case-by-case basis when he/she determines that it is in the best interest of the Government. However, the agency cannot waive the applicability of the IRC; that is, all reimbursed expenses would be taxable income to you, and the agency would have to reimburse those taxes.

(c) Any relocation must be incidental to the transfer and not for the convenience of the employee.

§302-2.7  What happens if I attempt to defraud the Government?

If you attempt to defraud the Government:

(a) You forfeit reimbursement pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2514; and

(b) You may be subject under 18 U.S.C. 287 and 1001 to one, or both, of the following:

(1) A fine of not more than $10,000, and/or

(2) Imprisonment for not more than 5 years.

Time Limits

§302-2.8  When may I begin my travel and transportation after receiving authorization to do so?

You and your immediate family member(s) may begin travel immediately upon receipt of your authorized TA.

§302-2.9  When must I complete all aspects my relocation?

You and your immediate family member(s) must complete all aspects of your relocation within one year from the effective date of your transfer or appointment, except as provided in §302-2.10 or §302-2.11.

§302-2.10  If I am furloughed to perform active military duty, will I have to complete all aspects of the relocation within the time limitation?

No, if you are furloughed to perform active military duty, the 1-year period to complete all aspects of relocation is exclusive of time spent on furlough for active military service.

§302-2.11  Does the 1-year time period in §302-2.9 include time that I cannot travel and/or transport my household effects due to shipping restrictions to or from my post of duty OCONUS?

No, the 1-year time period in §302-2.9 does not include time that you cannot travel and/or transport your household effects due to shipping restriction to or from your post of duty OCONUS.

§302-2.12  May the 1-year time limitation for completing all aspects of a relocation be extended?

Yes, the 1-year time limitation for completing all aspects of a relocation may be extended by your Agency for up to 1 additional years, but only if you have received an extension under §302-11.22.

Service Agreements and Disclosure Statement

§302-2.13  What is a service agreement?

A service agreement is a written agreement between you and your agency, signed by you and an agency representative, stating that you will remain in the service of the Government for a period of time as specified in §302-2.14, after you have relocated. A service agreement must also include the duplicate reimbursement disclosure statement specified in §§302-2.21, 302-2.22, and 302-2.100(g).

§302-2.14  Am I required to sign a service agreement when transferring within or outside the continental United States or performing renewal agreement travel and what is the minimum period of service?

Yes, you are required to sign a service agreement when transferring within or outside the continental United States or performing renewal agreement travel. The minimum periods of service are:

(a) Within the continental United States for a period of service of not less than 12 months following the effective date of your transfer;

(b) Outside the continental United States for an agreed upon period of service of not more than 36 months or less than 12 months following the effective date of transfer;

(c) Department of Defense Overseas Dependent School System teachers for a period of not less than one school year as determined under chapter 25 of Title 20, United States Code; and

(d) For renewal agreement travel a period of not less than 12 months from the date of return to the same or different overseas official station.

§302-2.15  Will I be penalized for violation of my service agreement?

Yes, if you violate a service agreement (other than for reasons beyond your control and which must be accepted by your agency), you will have incurred a debt due to the Government and you must reimburse all costs that your agency has paid towards your relocation expenses including withholding tax allowance (WTA) and relocation income tax (RIT) allowance.

§302-2.16  Must I provide my agency with my actual place of residence as soon as I accept a transfer/appointment OCONUS?

Yes, if you accept a transfer/appointment to an OCONUS location, you must immediately provide your agency with the information needed to determine your actual place of residence and to document it into your service agreement.

§302-2.17  Must I sign a service agreement for a “last move home” relocation?

No, you do not need to sign a service agreement for a “last move home” relocation.

§302-2.18  What happens if I fail to sign a service agreement?

If you fail to sign a service agreement, your agency will not pay for your relocation expenses.

§302-2.19  Can my service agreement be voided by a subsequent service agreement?

No, service agreements which are already in effect cannot be voided by subsequent service agreements.

§302-2.20  If I have more than one service agreement, must I adhere to each agreement separately?

Yes, service agreements can not be grouped together and must be adhered to separately. Each agreement is in effect for the period specified in the agreement.

§302-2.21  What is a duplicate reimbursement disclosure statement?

A duplicate reimbursement disclosure statement is a written statement signed by you and submitted to your agency. It states that you and/or your immediate family have not accepted, and will not accept, duplicate reimbursement for relocation expenses. Furthermore, it states that, to the best of your knowledge, no third party has accepted duplicate reimbursement for your relocation expenses. The duplicate reimbursement disclosure statement must be incorporated into your service agreement.

§302-2.22  Must I sign a duplicate reimbursement disclosure statement?

Yes, you must sign a duplicate reimbursement disclosure statement to receive any relocation benefits.

Advancement of Funds

§302-2.23  May I receive an advance of funds for my travel and transportation expenses?

Yes, you may receive a travel advance if approved by your agency.

§302-2.24  What requirements must I meet to receive a travel advance?

Your relocation travel authorization must authorize you to receive a travel advance.

§302-2.25  May I receive a travel advance for separation relocation?

Yes, you may receive a travel advance if approved by your agency.

Subpart B—Agency Responsibilities

Note to Subpart B: Use of pronouns “we”, “you”, and their variants throughout this subpart refers to the agency.

§302-2.100  What internal policies must we establish before authorizing a relocation allowance?

Before authorizing a relocation allowance, you must set internal policies that determine:

(a) How you will implement the governing policies throughout this part;

(b) How you will determine when a relocation is in the best interest of the Government;

(c) When you will allow a travel advance for relocation expenses;

(d) Who will authorize and approve relocation travel;

(e) Under what additional circumstances will you require an employee to sign a service agreement;

(f) Who is required to sign a service agreement; and

(g) How you will ensure that all relocating employees sign a duplicate reimbursement disclosure statement, which is to be incorporated into their relocation service agreements (see §302-2.22).

§302-2.101  When may we authorize reimbursement for relocation expenses?

You may authorize reimbursement for relocation expenses:

(a) When you have determined that an employee’s permanent change of station is in the best interest of the Government;

(b) Only after an employee has signed a service agreement to remain in service for the period specified in §302-2.14; and

(c) When you have determined that the employee’s relocation is incident to his/her change of official station.

§302-2.102  Who must authorize and approve relocation expenses?

The agency head or his/her designee must authorize and approve relocation expenses.

§302-2.103  How must we administer the authorization for relocation of an employee?

To administer the authorization for relocation of an employee, you must:

(a) Issue an employee a TA for relocation before he/she transfers to his/her new official station;

(b) Inform the employee of his/her transfer within a timeframe that will provide him/her sufficient time for preparation;

(c) Establish timeframes on when employees must submit a TA request;

(d) Provide new employees with the applicable limitations of their travel benefits; and

(e) Provide counseling about relocation benefits to all relocating employees. In addition, you should offer counseling as early as possible during the relocation process and you should consider offering counseling to employees who are contemplating acceptance of a job that would require them to relocate.

§302-2.104  What information must we provide on the TA?

On the TA, you must state the:

(a) Specific allowances that the employee is authorized; and

(b) Procedures that the employee is authorized to follow.

§302-2.105  When an employee transfers between Federal agencies, who is responsible for paying the employee’s relocation expenses?

When an employee transfers between Federal agencies, all allowable expenses must be paid from the funds of the agency that the employee is transferring to. However, in the case of a reduction in force or transfer of function, an agreement may be made between the agencies concerned as to what relocation allowances will be paid by either agency or split between them. This should include the payment of expenses for the extended storage of the employee’s household goods when assigned to an isolated permanent duty station within CONUS or a transfer to, from, or between foreign countries.

§302-2.106  May we waive statutory or regulatory limitations relating to relocation allowances for employees relocating to/from remote or isolated locations?

Yes, the agency head or his/her designee may waive any statutory or regulatory limitations for employees relocating (to/from a remote or isolated location) when determining that failure to waive the limitation would cause an undue hardship on the employee.

Time Limits

§302-2.110  Are there time factors that we must consider for allowing an employee to complete all aspects of relocation?

Yes, you should encourage employees to begin travel as soon as possible after authorization of travel is approved and inform employees that they must complete all aspects of relocation within a 1-year period from his/her effective date of transfer or appointment, unless the employee’s 1-year period is extended to include:

(a) Time spent on military furlough;

(b) Delays caused by overseas shipping or other restrictions; or

(c) An extension for completion of residence transaction (see §302-11.22 of this chapter).

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