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Can I deduct my moving expenses for a new job?

From vacations and barbeques to baseball games and long bike rides, summer is always a busy time for most people. It's important to realize, however, that the hectic pace of summer isn't always attributable to more social or recreational activities. Indeed, summer is frequently a time in which employers ramp up the workload, or when people move to a new location to start a new job.

If you found yourself in this latter category over the last three months -- or over the last year for that matter -- it's important to understand that you may be able to deduct some of the expenses associated with your job-related relocation.

What kind of moving expenses can I deduct?

In general, those who relocate for job-related purposes can deduct any of the following as moving expenses provided they satisfy the necessary requirements:

  • Transportation and lodging costs for themselves and dependent family members incurred during the move.
  • Packing, crating and shipping costs incurred moving items to the new home.
  • Storage and insurance costs incurred moving items to the new home.
  • Utility costs associated with disconnection in the old home and connection in the new home.

What kind of moving expenses can't I deduct?

In general, those who relocate for job-related purposes can't deduct any of the following as moving expenses:

  • Meal costs incurred during the move.
  • Any portion of the purchase price of the new home.
  • Costs incurred selling the old home.
  • Cost incurred breaking a lease.

What happens if the employer later reimburses me for the costs associated with the move but I already claimed moving expenses as a deduction on my tax return?

In situations like these, a person would more than likely be required to include the reimbursement from the employer as income on their tax return for the year in which it was received.

We will continue to discuss this subject in our next post, examining the three requirements that must be satisfied in order for a person to deduct moving expenses for employment purposes.  

If you have encountered any sort of issues with the IRS -- failure to report income, improper deduction, etc. -- consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and your options.

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