Your Year-End Relocation Tax Checklist

9.24.2020 | Every year Orion publishes this checklist to help ensure you’re prepared for tax season, but 2020 has been a year like no other. Before you tick through the list, please consider COVID-related expenses that may be deductible. For guidance, refer to our blog, “Covid-19: What Qualifies as Tax-Free Disaster Relief?

First, Determine Your Deadline
Determine the date by which payroll needs final relocation numbers for 2020, then work backwards. Below is a typical schedule for those running a year-end delta/adjustment report. For those who don’t, some steps are unnecessary and the timing may be slightly different.

6 Weeks Prior to Payroll Cutoff

  • Alert employees and vendors to your final expense cutoff date.
  • Double check / balance YTD numbers between payroll and relocation departments.
  • Audit your system. Be sure gross-up polices are set up correctly.
  • Audit transferee information – i.e. 1040 exemption numbers, marital status, gross-up policy, homeowner/renter status (if applicable), etc.

3-4 Weeks Prior to Payroll Cutoff

  • If you haven’t already, review expenses to see if any were incurred due to Covid-19 as some may be non-taxable.
  • Final expense cutoff date.
  • Double check that no expenses have been missed or entered with the incorrect year as the expense date.
  • Check for any outstanding payroll issues.
  • Run final payroll withholding report for the year.

1-2 Weeks Prior to Payroll Cutoff

  • Verify that no new expenses have been processed or entered into the system.
  • Run final audit of the system including verifying that all employee information is complete.
  • Send earnings information request to payroll. Be specific about whether YTD earnings include previously-reported relocation.

Final Week Prior to Payroll Cutoff

  • Get earnings information from payroll and enter into the system. Verify that you have information for all transferees with reportable expenses.
  • Double check the calculations. Look for anything strange.
  • Send the delta report to the payroll department.


  • Re-run any problem gross-ups.
  • Double check that you have email/mailing addresses for transferees who will be receiving Relocation Tax Reports.
  • Mail the reports to transferees including any memos and/or tax publications.

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