Active Duty Members of the Military
In real estate, you hear people say, “Location, Location, Location”. With the U.S. Military, you might as well hear “Relocation, Relocation, Relocation”. As of the end of 2019, the U.S. Government moved about 650,000 households with an estimated cost of about $2 billion, according to the Department of Defense. That is a lot of organizing, boxes to pack and plans to make. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. As an Active Duty Member of the Military, the Government will compensate you for a move upon receipt of orders for Permanent Change of Station, Separation, Housing Relocation, Retirement and other official orders requiring relocation.
Government Arranged Move vs. Doing It Yourself
You may elect for the Government to facilitate your moving needs through Government contracted moving companies. However, the Government encourages consideration of a Personally Procured Move (PPM), formerly termed as “DITY Move”. The two primary reasons for electing a PPM versus a Government arranged move is the possibility of receiving a “monetary incentive” for Active Duty Military, and “freedom of choice” for both Active Duty Military and Civilian Government Employees to have their personal property handled by whomever they desire. If your doing some military moving, than a personally procured move is the way to go.
Cost Benefits of a Personally Procured Move
The Government encourages employees to arrange their own moves.You will find that the Government will reimburse Military personnel up to maximum of 95% of the cost that the Government would have spent on doing the move itself. This means that if you come in under your budget, with careful planning, you may earn a profit on the move. Consult first with your Transportation Management Office, Joint Personal Property Shipping Office, or Personal Property Shipping Office. These offices assist in arranging the shipment of your personal property from the locality of your one duty station to another. When arranging the move yourself, you will need to fill out a form to get reimbursed by the government. There will be rules to follow, such as providing receipts for expenses and certified weight records in order to get reimbursed.
You will be asked to provide an estimate of the weight of all your household goods. The Government will then give you a quote based on this weight and will assess the number of miles between duty stations.
The key to making a profit from organizing the move yourself is to keep expenses low while being realistic about costs such as gas, tolls, rental trucks and other expenses. Military moving to not have to be expensive.
Do ask an accountant or your finance office about how much of your reimbursement might be taxable on your yearly income tax.
Do closely follow the rules on what is reimbursable and what isn’t, as cheating will be penalized. Keep careful track of all your receipts.
Ask your insurance company about coverage whether you are driving or someone else is driving. Consider whether your new residence will be ready to move into or whether your belongings will have to go into storage for a period of time. These all affect your bottom line.
The U.S. Military allows an advance of 60% to all branches (except members of the Marine Corps, which get 50%) of expenses.
The earlier you can start packing, the better. Create a space that is out of the way, if possible, and store boxes of items, such as books, that you might not need on a day-to-day basis. Pack all fragile items carefully, using bubble wrap or newspaper to protect your goods. Moving blankets will help protect your furniture from scratches and dents. Make sure the truck is loaded securely to prevent items from shifting during the drive.
Don’t do it alone! Now’s the time to call in favors and ask everyone to pitch in so you don’t injure yourself.
You are required to submit a claim under your Personal Procured Move (PPM) for a final settlement within 45-days from the effective date of your move. Each Branch of Service or Government Agency has its own process. Some require you to mail forms to a central office while others require that you visit the new duty station’s Traffic Management Office and finance office in person. If you’re mailing documents, make sure to photo copy all of them first to keep a copy for yourself.
Expect to pay federal tax on the profit you make from the move. If the government approves a move costing $6,000, for example and you spend only $4,000, you will be required to pay federal tax on the $2,000 difference. That amount will be withheld by the government when you receive your reimbursement check. Do confirm this first with your finance or Transportation Management Office.