Washington, DC 20405
December 4, 2019
Federal Travel Regulation
GSA Bulletin FTR 20-02
TO: Heads of Federal Agencies
SUBJECT: Relocation Allowances Taxes on Travel, Transportation, and Relocation
1. What is the purpose of this bulletin? This bulletin contains certain examples and
tables that were removed from FTR Part 302-17 as a result of FTR Amendment 2020-
02 (the Amendment). The Amendment directs agencies to a GSA bulletin for the
updated examples. Accordingly, this bulletin contains those updated examples and
tables reflecting changes to relocation allowances as mentioned in the Amendment.
This bulletin also rescinds FTR Bulletins 18-05 and 19-02. The information in the
aforementioned bulletins is duplicative now that the U.S. General Services
Administration (GSA) has published the Amendment, dated November 25, 2019, as a
direct final rule amending the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) in line with changes to
the Internal Revenue Code made by Public Law 115-97, known as the “Tax Cuts and
Jobs Act of 2017” (the Act).
2. What is the effective date of this bulletin? This bulletin is effective upon signature,
and will remain in effect until explicitly cancelled or superseded.
3. What is the background of this bulletin? The Act suspended moving expense
deductions along with the exclusion for employer reimbursements and payments of
moving expenses effective January 1, 2018, for tax years 2018 through 2025. GSA
issued FTR Bulletins 18-05, dated May 14, 2018, and 19-02, dated November 27, 2018,
providing information to agencies on the new tax changes affecting relocation
entitlements. Federal agencies were advised to continue to rely on the FTR bulletins
until GSA amended the FTR. In consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and
other agencies, GSA issued the Amendment to ensure the FTR is congruent with the
Act’s resulting changes to the Internal Revenue Code.
4. To whom does this bulletin apply? This bulletin applies to employees identified in
FTR §302-1.1 who are authorized relocation reimbursements under the FTR and who
receive some or all reimbursements, direct payments, or indirect payments on or after
January 1, 2018, and on or before December 31, 2025.
DocuSign Envelope ID: 090D6A50-8B79-44C3-A43C-7DB1543FD029
click to sign
click to edit
5. What relocation expenses reimbursements became taxable? Pursuant to the FTR §
302-17.8(b), the following table summarizes the FTR allowances, limitations, and tax
treatment of each reimbursement, allowance, direct payment(s), or indirect payment(s)
to a service provider or vendor.
Summary of FTR Allowance
FTR Part or Section
Overseas Tour Renewal Agreement Travel
Roundtrip travel and transportation expenses between
overseas post of duty and the employee’s actual place of
residence in the U.S.
Meals for employee and/or family
members while en route to the new duty
Standard CONUS per diem rate for meals and incidental
Lodging for employee and/or family
members while en route to the new duty
Standard CONUS per diem rate for lodging expenses
Transportation using your POV to your
new duty station
Actual cost or the rate established by GSA for using a POV
for relocation
Transportation to your new duty station
using a common carrier (an airline, for
Actual cost
Per diem and transportation for house
hunting trip
Per Diem Allowance: 10 days of per diem plus
transportation expenses - must be itemized; or
Lump Sum Method: locality rate times 5 (one person) or
times 6.25 (employee and spouse) for up to 10 days - no
itemization required
Temporary quarters subsistence expenses
Actual Expense Method: Maximum of 120 days; full per
diem for only the first 30 days - itemization required; or
Lump Sum Method: multiply the number of days allowed by
.75 times the locality rate (30 days maximum) - no
itemization required
Note: Additional TQSE allowances for family members are
less than the benefit for the employee occupying TQ alone.
Shipment of household goods (HHG) to
include unaccompanied air baggage (UAB)
and professional books, papers, and
equipment (PBP&E)
Transportation of up to 18,000 pounds
Temporary storage of HHG in transit
Temporary storage of HHG NTE 150 days for CONUS
relocation, and NTE 180 days for OCONUS relocation
Extended storage of HHG
CONUS Temporary Change of Station per agency policy
or isolated duty station only
OCONUS - Agency policy
Transportation of privately-owned vehicle
CONUS - Agency discretion
OCONUS - Agency discretion
Shipment of mobile home in lieu of HHG
Limited to maximum allowance for HHG
Residence transactions
Sale of home
Purchase of home
Closing costs up to 10% of actual sales price
Closing costs up to 5% of actual purchase price
Itemization required.
Payments to Relocation Service
According to agency policy and contracts
determined on
a case-by-
case basis
Home Marketing Incentive Payment
See internal agency policies and regulations
Taxable, but
not eligible for
Property Management Services
See internal agency policies and regulations
Miscellaneous expenses
$650 or $1,300; or
Maximum of 1 or 2 weeks basic pay
Withholding tax allowance
Reimbursement allowances to assist with additional tax
liability for relocation allowances, reimbursements, direct
payments or indirect payments to vendors
Relocation income tax allowance
Based on income and tax filing status
DocuSign Envelope ID: 090D6A50-8B79-44C3-A43C-7DB1543FD029
6. Agencies are authorized to pay a Withholding Tax Allowance (WTA) and Relocation
Income Tax Allowance (RITA) to eligible employees. What are the relevant special
terms and examples for calculating WTA and RITA payments?
FTR, Chapter 302, Part 302-17 establishes the process for calculating WTA and RITA
payments. This FTR bulletin includes examples for the following relevant terms:
Marginal Tax Rate (MTR) pursuant to FTR § 302-17.1, Combined Marginal Tax Rate
(CMTR) pursuant to FTR § 302-17.40, Withholding Tax Allowance (WTA) pursuant to
FTR §302-17.24, and Relocation claims paid with or without the WTA, pursuant to §
a. Marginal Tax Rate (MTR). The MTR is the rate applied to the last increment of
taxable income after taxable relocation benefits have been added to the employee’s
income. For example, suppose a married employee who files jointly has a taxable
income of $120,000. According to the IRS 2019 Tax Rate Schedules, taxable income
between $78,950 and $168,400 is taxed at the 22 percent tax rate. Therefore, since
their $120,000 of taxable income falls within that range, it is taxed at the 22 percent
MTR. If the employee receives $60,000 of taxable relocation benefits, then the taxable
income for the employee and spouse increases to $180,000, which is in the next
highest tax bracket. In this example, the employee and spouse now have a Federal
MTR (FMTR) of 24 percent after the taxable relocation benefits have been added to
their income.
b. Combined Marginal Tax Rate (CMTR). The CMTR is the rate determined by
combining the applicable FMTR, state MTR (SMTR) and local income taxes (LMTR)
using the procedures provided in FTR §302-17.40.
Formula: CMTR = FMTR + (1-FMTR)(SMTR) + (1-FMTR)(LMTR)
Given an FMTR of 22%, SMTR of 6%, and LMTR of 6%, the CMTR would be
calculated as follows:
CMTR = 0.22 + (1.00 0.22) (0.06) + (1.00-0.22) (0.03) = .2902 or 29.02%.
c. Withholding Tax Allowance (WTA). The agency computes the WTA by applying a
grossed-up withholding each time the employee incurs a covered, taxable relocation
expense, regardless of whether it is a reimbursement, allowance, or direct or indirect
payment to a vendor. The formula to calculate the WTA is as follows:
Formula: WTA = R/(1 - R) x Expense
where R is the withholding rate for supplemental wages
Given a supplemental wage rate of 22 percent, and the following authorized
expenses, agencies would “gross-up” the relocation entitlement(s) to offset the
additional federal tax liability, WTA would be calculated as follows:
DocuSign Envelope ID: 090D6A50-8B79-44C3-A43C-7DB1543FD029
House hunting trip $3,000.00
Temporary Quarters Subsistence Allowance $5,000.00
Total relocation expenses $8,000.00
WTA = .22/(1 - .22) x $8,000.00 = $2,256.41
d. Relocation claims paid with or without the WTA. Agencies have the option of
offering WTA for relocation payments to those who are eligible for WTA and RITA. The
following example illustrates a calculation without WTA, and a calculation with WTA.
Note 1 to table: Agencies must deduct withholding for Federal supplemental wages
(currently based on the 22% FMTR), and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) -
Medicare (currently 1.45%) and Social Security (currently 6.20%). For WTA calculation
see Paragraph 6(c) of this bulletin. To calculate withholding for Federal supplemental
wages and FICA, multiply the Net allowance by the applicable percentage withholding.
Note 2 to table: Net amount due to employee equals Net allowance minus Federal
supplemental wage withholding and minus FICA total.
Without WTA
With WTA
Relocation allowance (RA)
Net allowance (RA plus WTA)
Federal supplemental wage
Social security withholding
Medicare withholding
Net amount due to employee
8. Whom should I call for further information? For further information or clarification of
content, please contact Mr. Rick Miller, Office of Government-wide Policy (M), Office of
Asset and Transportation Management (MA), at (202) 501-3822 or by e-mail at Please cite to FTR Bulletin 20-02.
By delegation of the Administrator of General Services,
Jessica Salmoiraghi
Associate Administrator
Office of Government-wide Policy
DocuSign Envelope ID: 090D6A50-8B79-44C3-A43C-7DB1543FD029