Home  >  Financial Articles and Q&A  >  Can I deduct moving costs?

Can I deduct moving costs?

My family had to relocate this past year due to my husband's new job. The company did not reimburse any of our moving expenses. Are we able to claim any of those expenses as a deduction on our taxes?

Feb 16, 2012 by Bonnie from Lexington, KY in  |  Flag
2 Answers  |  3 Followers
Follow Question
4 votes

Here's information directly from the IRS that may answer your question: If you moved due to a change in your job or business location, or because you started a new job or business, you may be able to deduct your reasonable moving expenses but not any expenses for meals. To qualify for the moving expense deduction, you must satisfy two tests. Under the first test, the "distance test", your new workplace must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job location was from your old home. If you had no previous workplace, your new job location must be at least 50 miles from your old home.

The second test is the "time test". If you are an employee, you must work full-time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months immediately following your arrival in the general area of your new job location. If you are self-employed, you must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months and for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first 24 months immediately following your arrival in the general area of your new work location. There are exceptions to the time test in case of death, disability and involuntary separation, among other things.

If you are a member of the armed forces and your move was due to a military order and permanent change of station, you do not have to satisfy the "distance or time tests".

Moving expenses are figured on Form 3903 (PDF), Moving Expenses, and deducted as an adjustment to income on Form 1040 (PDF). You cannot deduct any moving expenses covered by reimbursements from your employer that are excluded from income.

For more information on deductible and nondeductible moving expenses, please refer to Publication 521, Moving Expenses. Also refer to Publication 521 for information on moves to locations in and outside the United States.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Feb 20, 2012 from Berkeley Heights, NJ

1|600 characters needed characters left
0 votes
Jim Blankenship Level 17

Bonnie,

You may be able to claim a deduction for moving expenses if the distance from the new main job is at least fifty miles farther away from your old home than the old job was from the old home. (Right, thanks IRS for such a simple matter!).

Here's an example - if the old job was five miles away from your old home, then the new job must be at least 55 miles away from the old home.

In addition to that distance test, there is a time test. This test requires that you work full time for at least 39 weeks during the 12 months after you make the move to the new home. It doesn't have to be 39 consecutive weeks, and it doesn't have to be all at the same job.

If you meet those two tests (or if your spouse meets them, if you're filing jointly), then you may be able to deduct your moving expenses. See Publication 521 and Form 3903 at www.IRS.gov for more information.

jb

Comment   |  Flag   |  Feb 16, 2012 from New Berlin, IL

1|600 characters needed characters left