In certain instances, departments may choose to cover housing costs for DOF employees for a period of time. Typically, this would only be done for someone hired for a short-term assignment. Note that increasing a salary is not the appropriate way to address housing costs.
When paying for housing, the University must follow IRS rules on the taxability of these payments. Fortunately, it is our understanding that housing is not a taxable benefit if it is for a temporary assignment in a single location that is for one year or less. (Please see IRS Publication 463.) If you have a visitor with an appointment that is for one year or less and the department wants to pay for their housing, there are two ways to do this:
- The department can reimburse the person through Concur. The visitor will submit an expense report to be reimbursed each month. The visitor will need to attach a receipt from the landlord acknowledging the rent was received.
- If the employee is renting University housing, the department can transfer funding for the rent directly to Housing and Real Estate Services.
Note if the visitor will be here for longer than one year, then our understanding is that housing is subject to taxation. In the case where the visitor will be here for longer than one year and the department wants to cover their housing costs, please contact Payroll for steps to take to ensure that the visitor is taxed appropriately.
Please be sure to suggest that the visitor consult with a professional for tax advice when communicating these guidelines to them.