- 1.22.7 Household Goods
- 18.104.22.168 Introduction
- 22.214.171.124 Management
- 126.96.36.199 Actual Expense Method (AEM)
- 188.8.131.52 Commuted Rate System (CRS)
- 184.108.40.206 Self-Move Method
- 220.127.116.11 Employee Counselling
- 18.104.22.168 Shipment Valuation and Accessorial Services
- 22.214.171.124.1 Shipment Valuation
- 126.96.36.199.2 Accessorial Services
- 188.8.131.52.3 Storage
- 184.108.40.206.4 Packing and Unpacking
- 220.127.116.11.5 Weighing the Shipment
- 18.104.22.168.6 Article Inventory
- 22.214.171.124 Move Coordination
- 126.96.36.199.1 Selecting the Carrier
- 188.8.131.52.2 Carrier Contact
- 184.108.40.206.3 Paperwork Preparation
- 220.127.116.11.4 Quality Control
- 18.104.22.168 Authorized Cost Limits and Reimbursement to the Government
- 22.214.171.124.1 Actual Expense Method (AEM)
- 126.96.36.199.2 Commuted Rate Schedule (CRS)
- 188.8.131.52.3 Self-Move Method
- 184.108.40.206 Claims
- 220.127.116.11 Review of Carrier Vouchers
- 18.104.22.168 References
Part 1. Organization, Finance, and Management
Chapter 22. Mail and Transportation Management
Section 7. Household Goods
October 15, 2015
(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.22.7, Mail and Transportation Management, Household Goods.
(1) Editorial changes have been made throughout the IRM.
Wage and Investment Division
This section contains guidance and procedures for the IRS Relocation Coordinator in administering the IRS Employee Relocation Program to assure quality service for employees and reduce Government cost.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Beckley Finance Center (BFC) Travel Management Section is responsible for coordinating the movement of household goods (HHG) and personal effects of IRS employees. The Actual Expense Method (AEM), Commuted Rate System (CRS) and self-moves are available options.
These regulations are detailed in 41 CFR 102-117 subpart G, Shipping Household Goods at: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/ext/public/site/FMR/file/Part102-117.html/category/21860.
The General Services Administration (GSA)/National Customer Service Center administers the Centralized Household Goods Traffic Management Program. The program provides economical and efficient service to federal executive agency employees. The basic components of the program are cost comparisons, carrier approval, price negotiation and carrier performance measurements.
Household Goods (HHG) are the personal effects of IRS employees and their dependents. HHG include household furnishings, equipment, appliances, furniture, clothing, books and similar personal property which belong to the employees or members of their immediate family. There are limits to what employees may ship as part of their HHG.
IRS may authorize the transportation of privately owned vehicles (POV) in connection with an authorized move allowance.
The management of the IRS' policy and procedures of HHG movement and general liaison with the GSA is the responsibility of Media and Publications (M&P)/Distribution (D)/Distribution Requirements Branch (DRB)/Postal and Transport Policy (PTP) Section. The PTP Section is also responsible for providing policy guidance to the BFC and general assistance in operations.
The PTP Section Supply Management Specialist performs the following:
Coordinates policy with the CFO relating to entitlements, the employee Relocation Handbook from the office of Travel Management & Relocation and claims
Provides liaison function with carrier representatives and is responsible for developing and maintaining contacts with the GSA
Reviews the quality control program to monitor carrier service and limit usage as necessary
Provides operational assistance to CFO on HHG shipments
Collects and distributes quality control information
Reviews changes to the Relocation Handbook as initiated by CFO
Maintains a system for auditing carrier invoices and reporting cost savings data, certification for payment and oversight of the prepayment audit contractor
The travel staff of the BFC as the Relocation Coordinator is responsible to:
Inform transferred employees of their rights and responsibilities, contact the selected HHG carrier as soon as possible and coordinate any carrier services related to the move
Select method (e.g., AEM, CRS, or Self Move) and notify the authorizing official in the business unit of the selection
Prepare the bill of lading Form 13135, IRBL - Privately Owned Personal Property, authorize carrier services, coordinate the movement of HHG, monitor vehicles, unaccompanied baggage and monitor carrier performance when AEM is selected
Ensure funds are committed and obligated for transportation and related charges
Provide authorization and clarification to prepayment audit contractor as necessary to facilitate the GSA required prepayment audit
Process SF 1113, Public Voucher for Transportation Charges, for payment to carrier after electronic certification by PTP Section
Provide technical expertise and assistance for transportation of HHG and motor vehicles
Bill employee for overweight charges for transportation and storage when necessary
Provide original public voucher and backup documentation to GSA for their post payment audit
The Relocation Coordinator selects the carrier from the GSA cost comparison listing, arranges for carrier service, prepares Form 13135, Internal Revenue Service Bill of Lading-Privately Owned Personal Property (IRBL), and assists the employee with claims against the carrier or Government for loss or damage.
Under CRS, the transferred employee arranges for shipping HHG. The IRS reimburses the employee according to distance and weight as listed in the CRS published by the GSA.
The employee is responsible for arranging to weigh the shipment and obtaining weight certificates.
CRS may be less costly to the IRS when there is excessive packing, crating, or other accessorial or third party charges using the AEM.
When an employee is authorized a self-move, they will be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses. This amount will not exceed what the IRS would have paid under AEM.
The self-move method may be advantageous to the employee when items of extraordinary value require high insurance, special handling of collectibles is necessary, or other unique circumstances exist.
Thorough pre-move planning is critical to a successful move. The CFO travel staff provides employee counselling on all aspects of the move. Transferred employees are given a "Household Goods Counselling Checklist" and a checklist of "Things to Do Before Your Move."
Employees should use the following self-help guides published by GSA:
On a direct cost comparison, CRS or self-move options may appear less costly. But, due to the manual labor in moving HHG, the employee is exposed to possible personal injury and loss of time on the job. For this reason CRS and self-moves can be denied by the CFO as not in the IRS' best interest.
The selected carrier is required to do an on-site pre-move survey at least three working days prior to the actual move. The employee may allow a shorter time if necessary. The IRBL issuing officer may authorize in writing a telephonic pre-move survey. A copy of the pre-move survey must be given to the employee and to the Relocation Coordinator.
31 U.S.C 3721, authorizes the Commissioner of the IRS to settle and pay the claim of an employee for damage to or loss of personal property up to $40,000. This authority has been delegated to the Claims Manager, Chief Counsel/General Legal Services.
The maximum weight permitted by the Government is 18,000 pounds plus an allowance of 2,000 pounds for packing material. When the weight estimate exceeds or approaches this limit, the employee must be told of their obligation to pay for the excess. Employees will be encouraged to reduce the weight to avoid the excess charges.
A carrier's liability limit is determined by the shipment valuation or released value. Carriers do not offer insurance.
Accessorial services are supplemental to basic transportation and provided by the carrier at an additional cost.
Valuation should be stated on the IRBL before it is issued to the carrier.
IRS authorizes employee's goods to be shipped at Full Value Protection. This guarantees either replacement of articles lost or damaged while in the carrier's custody, reimbursement for full replacement cost, or satisfactory repairs. Depreciation is not applied. Full Value Protection requires a shipment be declared at a value of at least $21,000 or $6 per pound whichever is greater. If the employee requests increased valuation charges above that amount, the additional charges are the responsibility of the employee.
Any articles that are extremely expensive or valuable should be appraised (in writing) by an accredited appraiser prior to the move. Claims for loss of the these articles will likely be disallowed by the Government or the carrier due to their extraordinary value. The employee should be advised to take these items with their person if practical, or ship separately with commercial insurance coverage.
Accessorial Services include those extra services performed by the carrier. These services include stair carry, shuttle service, waiting time, appliance servicing, crating/uncrating, piano carry and storage.
Two basic kinds of storage may be involved in an employee relocation; storage in transit (SIT), and non-temporary storage.
SIT is authorized when the employee cannot immediately move into the residence at the new location. SIT at destination is preferred but may be authorized at origin or an intermediate point. Initial temporary storage expense is limited to 60 days, but may be extended in 60-day increments to 150 days upon the employee's reasonable written request. On overseas assignments, the employee is authorized two years SIT.
Non-temporary storage is long-term storage used in lieu of transportation when the new post of duty is overseas or in a remote area of the United States. Unless authorized by the IRS, the cost of non-temporary storage becomes the employee's responsibility when SIT limits are exceeded. The carrier will invoice IRS for these charges. The IRS, in turn, will recover the paid amount from the employee.
The carrier is liable to the owner for loss and/or damage to the owner's HHG for any articles over which the carrier has control or custody, not to exceed the released valuation.
When moving on AEM, all packing and unpacking is paid by the IRS up to 18,000 pounds (plus 2,000 pounds allowance for packing materials). The carrier's service includes packing and unpacking everything if the employee wishes this service. When the carrier unpacks, the carrier is required to remove all packing material immediately. If the employee unpacks, the carrier will return and remove the packing material at the Government's expense.
The shipment weight is determined by weighing the moving van before and after loading, and the difference or net weight is the billed weight.
The carrier must use a scale which will permit the employee to observe the weighing. The moving employee should protect him/herself and the IRS from overcharging by going to the scale and observing the weighing of the vehicle before and after loading the shipment.
The empty moving van should initially be weighed with the fuel tanks on the vehicle full, and the vehicle must contain all the equipment needed in the transportation of the shipment. The driver should not be in the truck or on the scale.
If the employee is not satisfied with the accuracy of the weight, the carrier is required, upon the employee's and/or IRS' timely request, to again weigh the vehicle before and after delivery. The billing weight shall be the reweigh weight regardless of whether it is higher or lower than the initial weighing. There is no charge for reweighing.
A carrier representative will make a written inventory of articles as they are being loaded and make a notation on the inventory showing the condition of the employee's furniture and other goods. The employee or the employee's representative should be present to ensure that the description of the condition is accurate.
If loss or damage is noticed on delivery, entries must be made on both the carrier delivery receipt and inventory forms. The driver must sign these forms to acknowledge the loss or damage.
High value items must be listed on a separate "high value" inventory.
Selecting the carrier, facilitating necessary carrier services related to the move, preparing documents accurately and monitoring quality control are the primary components of Move Coordination.
After cost comparison analysis and employee counselling, the determination is made on the method of moving, either AEM or CRS.
If it is determined that the move will be accomplished under the AEM, the Relocation Coordinator selects the carrier from the cost comparison list obtained from the GSA Transportation Management Services Solutions.
Carrier selection requires using the carrier or carriers that will provide the needed service at the best value to the IRS.
When contacted, carriers should be told the move is authorized under the GSA HHG Tender of Service. Initial information given to the carrier includes:
IRS contact name and phone number
Packing and pick up dates
Origin and destination addresses
After accepting the move, the carrier is given this additional information:
Telephone contact information and E-mail address
Accessorial services required
Valuation (insurance) requested
GSA control number
All booking contacts with carriers should be documented on the cost comparison list.
The CFO travel staff should prepare the IRBL when the move has been booked (accepted) by a carrier. An IRBL must not be issued without a signed, dated copy of Form 4253-A, Authorization for Basic Moving Expenses, in the possession of the travel staff.
The IRBL must be prepared as explained in Document 11933, IRBL User Guide.
When the move is complete, the moving employee must complete GSA Form 3080, Household Goods Carrier Evaluation Report, and send it to the Relocation Coordinator for submission to GSA.
Feedback from moving employees is the primary means GSA has to evaluate carriers and compile rankings for the cost comparison list.
The employee is entitled to the cost of transportation from the old official duty station to the new official duty station in one lot by the most economical routing as determined by the IRS. When costs exceed that amount, those higher expenses become the employee's responsibility to reimburse the IRS.
If the employee is advised to move under the AEM, all approved expenses are paid by the IRS. All non-reimbursable moving expenses and shipping costs of all unauthorized items will be billed to the employee by the BFC.
The employee may choose to move via another carrier and still move on an IRBL. The employee must notify the Relocation Coordinator stating that they will pay the difference, if higher, between the charges of their selected carrier and the carrier recommended by the travel staff.
If the moving employee is advised to move under the CRS, the move will be reimbursed for the CRS amount shown on the GSA cost comparison.
Intrastate or short distance moves under the CRS require analysis. If it is determined that the actual charges for the move will not exceed the CRS, the employee may move using an IRBL. IRS will pay all authorized charges under these circumstances.
Funds for expenses are issued in one lump sum amount under the CRS. If the employee's expenses exceed the amount allotted, the employee must pay the difference.
If the moving employee elects the self-move method, reimbursement will be for actual expenses incurred and documented (e.g., truck rental, gas, oil, equipment, hired labor), limited to the cost of the carrier listed on the GSA cost comparison with whom IRS would have scheduled the move.
If the moving employee selects their own carrier and elects not to move via IRBL, reimbursement will be limited to the computed charges of the carrier recommended by the Relocation Coordinator.
If HHG are lost or damaged while in transit or in storage, IRS employees should request claim forms from the carrier.
IRS employees can file loss or damage claims with the carrier and IRS simultaneously. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) allows a HHG carrier 120 days to offer a compromise settlement. IRS may make a settlement in a shorter period of time. IRS settlements are based on replacement costs minus depreciation of damaged or lost items. Carrier settlement offers are based on full replacement value. For that reason, employees should wait for the carrier settlement offer before filing a claim against the IRS. If the carrier's settlement does not cover the full amount of the claim, any funds received from the carrier will reduce the amount of the claim against the IRS by a like amount.
The IRS will underwrite loss or damage to HHG to the extent that the possession of the property is determined to be reasonable, useful or proper.
The carrier must send all HHG vouchers to the IRS pre-audit contractor. Vouchers are thoroughly screened for discrepancies to ensure that the IRS has been properly invoiced by the carrier. The contractor forwards the voucher electronically to the PTP Section for final review and certification for payment. The PTP Section sends the vouchers electronically to the BFC for payment.