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Can You Deduct Your Moving Expenses?

Moving can be very stressful as well as an expensive process. The current tax law provides for a deduction for some but not all moving related expenses. A little planning can take some of the sting out of a move. Unfortunately, there is no help for the stress.

Deducting Moving Expenses

If you move because of your job, you may be able to deduct the cost of the move on your tax return. You may be able to deduct your costs if you move to start a new job or to work at the same job in a new location. The IRS offers the following tips about moving expenses and your tax return. In order to deduct moving expenses, your move must meet three requirements:

1. The move must closely relate to the start of work. Generally, you can consider moving expenses within one year of the date you start work at a new job location. Additional rules apply to this requirement.

2. Your move must meet the distance test. Your new main job location must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your previous job location. For example, if your old job was three miles from your old home, your new job must be at least 53 miles from your old home.

3. You must meet the time test. After the move, you must work full-time at your new job for at least 39 weeks the first year. If you're self-employed, you must meet this test and work full-time for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first two years at the new job site. If your income tax return is due before you've met this test, you can still deduct moving expenses if you expect to meet it.

See Publication 521, Moving Expenses, for more information about these rules. It's available on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

If you can claim this deduction, here are a few more tips from the IRS:

  • Travel. You can deduct transportation and lodging expenses for yourself and household members while moving from your old home to your new home. You cannot deduct your travel meal costs.
  • Household goods and utilities. You can deduct the cost of packing, crating and shipping your things. You may be able to include the cost of storing and insuring these items while in transit. You can deduct the cost of connecting or disconnecting utilities.
  • Nondeductible expenses. You cannot deduct as moving expenses any part of the purchase price of your new home, the cost of selling a home or the cost of entering into or breaking a lease. See Publication 521 for a complete list.
  • Reimbursed expenses. If your employer later pays you for the cost of a move that you deducted on your tax return, you may need to include the payment as income. You report any taxable amount on your tax return in the year you get the payment.
  • Address Change. When you move, be sure to update your address with the IRS and the U.S. Post Office. To notify the IRS file Form 8822, Change of Address.

Premium Tax Credit - Changes in Circumstances. If you purchased health insurance coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may receive advance payment of the premium tax credit in 2014. It is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as when you move to a new address, to your Marketplace. Other changes that you should report include changes in your income, employment, family size, or eligibility for other coverage. Advance credit payments provide premium assistance to help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Marketplace. Reporting changes will help you get the proper type and amount of premium assistance so you can avoid getting too much or too little in advance.

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