Relocation Assistance Scheme

Frequently Asked Questions

In exceptional circumstances, the Director of Human Resources (with the support of your College Pro-Vice-Chancellor/College Registrar/Head of Service) may agree that Relocation Expenses can be claimed outside of the HMRC time period. However the relocation paid to you then becomes taxable rather than tax-free. In these instances, your College/Service should should be sent the approved claims direct to the Pay and Benefits Team Leader in Employee Services for processing (rather than via the online Expenses system).

Expenses and benefits which qualify for exemption can be grouped into the following categories:

  • disposal or intended disposal of old residence (eg legal and estate agency fees)
  • acquisition or intended acquisition of new residence (eg legal fees, stamp duty)
  • transporting belongings
  • travelling and subsistence
  • domestic goods for the new residence (While the HMRC does not have a defined list for what can be classed as a “domestic good”, it does cover “white goods” - ie washing machine, fridge, freezer etc – and carpets and curtains where it is necessary to purchase new items to replace items used at the old home that are not suitable for use in the new home. HMRC give the following example: carpets and curtains that were the wrong size for the new home, or an electric cooker bought to replace a gas cooker where there is no gas supply in the new home.)

The following expenses would be excluded from the scheme:

  • Work-related items (e.g. office or laboratory moves) Such costs should be discussed with your department, who may or may not be able to assist.
  • Removal of a motor vehicle.
  • Household cleaning.
  • Cost of adding UK car insurance to an existing policy.
  • Cost of purchasing a new mobile phone to use as a landline.
  • The cost of new/replacement furniture (i.e bed, mattress, table, chairs etc.) 
  • The cost of new/replacement domestic items (i.e TV, microwave, hairdryer, iron, hoover etc.)

No, you cannot claim for your relocation expenses until after you have started with the University. Your claim should be submitted, along with receipts to the Accounts Payable, Finance, Northcote House via the University’s online expenses system.

Visa reimbursement is available through the Visa Reimbursement Scheme and should not be claimed under relocation. If you are eligible for the visa reimbursement scheme, this will be in addition to your relocation allowance. Further information can be found at:

You cannot claim for replacement goods if you are only replacing them because they are too expensive to ship. Replacement goods that you choose not to bring to the UK because they are not suitable or do not work in the UK (TV – different voltage, domestic appliances etc.) can be claimed for.

The employee can have eligible travel and subsistence for:

  • preliminary visits to the new location;
  • travelling between the old home and the new work location;
  • travelling between the new home and the old work location (where the house move takes place before the job transfer);
  • temporary living accommodation (see 5.5 below);
  • travelling between the old home and the temporary living accommodation;
  • travelling between the new home and the temporary living accommodation (where the house move takes place before the job transfer);
  • travelling from the old home to the new home when the move takes place.

Yes, you can claim for this because the hotel/rented property represents temporary living accommodation. Temporary accommodation is only allowable if your intention is to move to a permanent residence and you are actively looking.

If the employer provides temporary living accommodation in a hotel or similar and the relocation meets with the four sets of qualifying conditions, it is still tax exempt but the information must be reported to the HMRC on a P11D.

If the relocation does not meet the qualifying conditions, it becomes a taxable benefit and again must be reported to the HMRC on a P11D

The value we use is the cost to us of providing the benefit. These details must be provided to the Employee Services Team Leader by the 5th April every year.

Yes, as long your total claim is not more than you are allowed. Please note, quarantine costs cannot be claimed under relocation.

If your new appointment includes an offer of relocation assistance, you will be eligible to claim tax-free relocation expenses because you have a completely new job/new contract. If the only change is that your original job has been made permanent, you cannot claim for relocation.

There would be a private element in this package namely the cost of the return journey but as agreed with the HMRC as the main intention of the ticket is to fly you here, yes this can be claimed under relocation.

Yes but the claim must come from within your relocation allowance. To minimise costs, most new employees will move their books from their old workplace using their own transport to their old home so that they can be moved with their furniture etc in a single transaction. They then move them from their new home to their new workplace using their own transport. You cannot claim any expenses for moving your books from workplace to home and vice-versa as this falls outside the HMRC regulations.