WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) has introduced House legislation to provide financial relief for certain federal civilian employees who have to relocate for work purposes. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia are championing an identical bill in the Senate.
“Moving should not be a burden on federal employees working for America,” Congresswoman Luria said. “Our bill would eliminate an unnecessary worry for workers transitioning to a new location to serve our nation.”
Relocation expenses generally are reimbursed by the federal government. But the 2017 tax law ended the federal government’s ability to cover the taxes on some reimbursements. As a result, moving cost reimbursements became recognized as taxable income for certain federal employees.
For example, civilian employees of the Department of Defense who transfer to teach at elementary, middle, and high schools on military bases across the world currently pay taxes on artificially inflated incomes due to the expense of their moves.
Other agencies where employees are likely to be transferred upon hiring may face decreased applications due to reluctance to take a job where relocation is likely.
Congresswoman Luria’s legislation would increase the percentage of federal employees who are able to be repaid for taxes on moving from 95 percent to 100 percent.