Did you recently move to another city for a new job or because your old job is now at a new location? A tax break may be coming your way.
How far you moved and the amount of time you spend on the job will have a major impact on whether you qualify for the tax break. Moves that are only short hops and jobs that are short-term or part-time generally do not qualify. However, if you can satisfy the distance and time tests then job-related moving expenses that you incur may be tax deductible.
You will meet the distance test if your new workplace is at least 50 miles further from your former home than your previous workplace was from that home. For example, if your old job was 5 miles from your former home, your new job must be at least 55 miles from that home.
The time test requires you work full-time for at least 39 weeks during the 12 months immediately after your move. If you are self-employed, the time test requires you to 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 after your move. You can deduct your moving expenses on your tax return even though you have not met the time test by the date your return is due if you expect to meet the 39-week or the 78-week test as required.
Members of the armed forces do not have to meet these tests if the move was due to a permanent change of station.
Reasonable moving expenses are deductible and include the costs of moving your household goods and personal effects to your new home. You can also deduct the expenses of traveling to your new home, including lodging costs.
Meals eaten while in transit between your old and new homes are not deductible as moving expenses. No part of the purchase price of your new home may be deducted as a moving expense. You cannot claim a moving expense deduction for expenses covered by reimbursements excluded from income.
Additional information on moving expenses, including an extensive list of deductible and non-deductible expenses, can be found in Publication 521, Moving Expenses, on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).