I have recently accepted a new job which requires me to move across the country and as part of my employment I was offered a signing bonus to assist with relocation. It just barely occurred to me that bonuses are subject to taxation in the amount of ~40%, with a portion returned on the next tax return. Given this fact, I am going to lose a substantial amount of the relocation assistance I was offered to Uncle Sam.
What I am wondering is, would I be able to avoid taxes on the relocation assistance being offered if it is treated as an itemized expense reimbursement, rather than a bonus? Also, assuming the expense reimbursement would not exceed the bonus offered, would taking this approach affect the company any differently?