A Personally Procured Move (PPM), formerly known as a DITY Move, has a few benefits over a Government Procured Move (GPM). A PPM allows you to have complete control over the process including packing your own household goods and choosing which moving company you want to use (if any), but it also gives you more time to complete the move – an added benefit if you’ve received last minute orders and are unable to schedule a military moving company within a short turnaround.
But, the number one reason many military families choose to utilize a PPM is the potential to make money. If you opt for a PPM, the government will pay you 95 percent of what it would cost for a GPM, in addition to the standard travel allowances for your family. If you spend less than the amount you received, you are not obligated to return what you did not spend. Ask around and you’ll hear tales of some service members making thousands of dollars from a PPM.
Here is a simple way to determine whether or not moving yourself will prove profitable:
Reimbursement Amount – Moving Expenses = X (Profit or Loss)
Reimbursement Amount = The amount you will receive before any expenses determined by the weight of your goods and the distance to your next duty station. This number will be provided to you when you fill out your paperwork with your installation’s travel office. You can also utilize this Personally Procured Move Estimator to estimate how much the military will pay you to move yourself.
Moving Expenses = This amount includes how much you’ll spend to actually complete the move and includes cost of gas, furniture pads, boxes, hired labor, etc.
X = The amount you will make once the move has completed. If X is a positive number – great! If X is a negative number, you might want to reconsider doing a PPM move based on your reasons for moving yourself.
Keep in mind that if you come out at a profit, whatever you “pocket” is considered taxable income. The military will automatically withhold approximately 22 percent of your profits and send you a W2 to file with your tax returns.
You’ll also want to be aware of what operating expenses you can claim on your tax returns. Operating expenses are goods that service members pay for that lower their taxable income. Here is a list of what’s authorized and what isn’t:
|Authorized Expenses||Unauthorized Expenses|
|Rental Truck/Trailer||Safe Move Insurance|
|Hand Truck/Dollies-Rental||Purchase of Auto Transporter/Dollies
|Hired Labor||Hitch Fees/Tow Bars|
|Rope/Tarps/Tie-Downs/Tie Straps||Routine Maintenance|
|Weight Ticket Fees||Locks|
Moving is a stressful experience by itself, so it’s important to determine beforehand why you’re considering a PPM move. If your reasons have everything to do with how your personal items are handled and stored or time constraints, then a PPM might be worth it even at a loss. If your motivations are purely financial, be sure to know your numbers beforehand.
Kristen Baker-Geczy is a communications specialist, active duty military spouse, and former MWR marketing coordinator. She was also deployed to Southwest Asia as an Air Force contractor.
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