4 Situations You Can Write Off Moving Expenses

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4 Situations You Can Write Off Moving Expenses

Staff Writer · Mar 9, 2010

When it comes to moving expenses, deductions can be made specifically with respect to your employment. However, you must meet certain criteria. If you’re moving for relocation purposes in relation to your job and the new job and home are at least 50 miles away from your old job or employer, then deductions are allowed.

If you’re self-employed, you can also write off moving expenses provided you live and work at least 50 miles away from your old residence. You must also plan to reside in your new home for at least 2 years and work in your new location for at least 78 weeks. You can even claim moving deductions if you’re re-entering or first entering the workforce full-time as long as you’re residing at least 50 miles from where you once lived and plan to work in your new job for at least 39 weeks.

Once you’ve met the foregoing criteria, you can write off moving expenses such as mileage and any costs associated with packing, unpacking or lodging. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a total accounting of your move by keeping all the receipts you accumulate.

1. Costs Directly Associated with Moving

As indicated, you can write off all costs directly associated with your move, such as packing, unpacking, loading and unloading. Therefore, all boxes you purchase, tape or labels you buy, dollies you rent and trucks you lease can be written off. If you use a moving company, the total cost for the move can be deducted too.

2. Expenses Dealing with Travel

If you must stay at a hotel during your move, the costs of lodging can be deducted as well. If you’re required to fly to the city of your new residence, then air travel can also be deducted. Any travel expenses can be written off that are related to moving, such as tolls, mileage, gasoline and repairs and maintenance to your personal vehicle. However, the IRS makes an exception with regards to meals. You can’t write off any expenses you incur, say, at McDonald’s or Burger King while traveling during your move.

3. The Costs of Shipping and Storage

If you must transport your car via a carrier, then the total cost can be deducted. Also, any items that must be stored during a move can be deducted too.

4. Expenses Exceeding Employer Reimbursement

If your employer is reimbursing you for the expenses you incur during your move, then you can’t claim any such reimbursements on your tax return as the IRS looks at this type of practice as double dipping and therefore doesn’t give you any latitude in this regard. However, any costs you acquire above the amount of what you’re reimbursed by your employer can be claimed as a deduction. Also, if your employer advances you the money in order to pay for a move, then you can claim the amount that he conveys to you as this is considered income.

As long as your move is directly related to employment, you can claim deductions. Basically, you just need to meet the “50-mile rule” and plan on working and residing in your new area for some time to come.

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