Legislation Would Cover Out-of-Pocket Relocation Costs for Some Feds

A group of senators have reintroduced a bill that would ease the financial burden for some civilian federal employees who have to move for work.

The federal government covers employees’ moving expenses if they need to relocate as part of their job. Those allowances were tax-free until 2017 when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted. Under that legislation, new and retiring federal employees had to pay tax on that relocation allowance.

The Relocation Expense Parity Act aims to close the gap for that group of workers.

“It’s an old saying, but a wise one: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Sen. Angus King said in an April 30 statement. “Unfortunately, the 2017 tax bill ignored this rule, and broke something that was working for a small number of federal workers who are required to move for their jobs. This legislation would right a wrong created by the tax bill, and make sure that public servants moving in order to start or conclude their duties aren’t burdened with an additional tax.”

These employees make up 5% of the federal workforce, King said.

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