artwright Relocation Services, an AMSA member, recently received an email from Paul Milotte, AMSA Vice President of Government Affairs, regarding Bulletin FTR 18-05, issued by the General Services Administration (GSA) on May 14, 2018. The bulletin details the changes in the GSA’s relocation allowance policies for federal employees resulting from the signing into law of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Important topics in FTR 18-05:
In his email, Mr. Milotte mentions several important topics addressed in FTR 18-05 that bear repeating:
- New guidelines are now in place for federal agency relocation managers regarding the tax law changes and the ability to “gross up” certain employees
- Laws cited in the bulletin are effective retroactively to January 1, 2018.
- The suspension of qualified moving expense deductions and exclusion of employer reimbursements as taxable income through 2025
Other areas addressed in FTR 18-05 include:
What previously exempt moving expense reimbursements are now taxable?
- The shipment of household goods (HHG), unaccompanied air baggage, professional books, papers, and equipment
- Temporary storage of HHG in transit
- Shipment of a mobile home in lieu of HHG
- Extended storage of HHG for assignments outside the Continental U.S.
- Transportation of personal vehicles – both CONUS and OCONUS
WTA and RITA payments
Withholding Tax Allowance (WTA) and Relocation Income Tax Allowance (RITA) are payment programs allowing the government to “gross up” or cover “substantially all” of the additional relocation costs federal employees incur thanks to the tax law changes.
- WTA/RITA allowances are available only to employees transferred from one official station or agency to another permanent duty position
Individuals not eligible for WTA/RITA:
- New appointees
- Those returning from overseas assignments if separating from service
- SES employees performing “last move home”
- Those assigned under the Government Employees Training Act