Home / Categories / Moving Budget / Moving Expenses - It's Tax Time!

Moving Expenses - It's Tax Time!

March 4th, 2011 - 10:56 AM

Can I deduct my moving expenses?
The answer is 'maybe'. I know— if only there were a tax calculation handbook that could give simple yes-or-no answers, there would be much less tension in the world! Luckily, we've gathered a few guidelines to help you calculate your moving expenses.

The first thing you'll need to do is determine whether or not you can actually deduct your moving expenses (no need to spend time on an extra form if your move isn't eligible for any deductions). So who is eligible to deduct their moving expenses? If you moved to a new home because of a new workplace, or if you are a retiree or survivor moving into the United States, you likely qualify to count your moving expenses towards your tax deduction. As always, there are a few requirements to verify that you fall into one of the above categories; namely the Distance Test and the Time Test. Check out Form 3903-Moving Expenses for a simple worksheet to confirm whether you meet the criteria. 

The second step is to calculate the portion of your moving expenses that you can deduct. According to the IRS, you are able to deduct costs incurred by moving your household goods and personal effects from your old home to your new home. Travel expenses such as hotel fees can also be included in the total deduction; just remember that meals cannot be counted in the total moving costs. You'll then list your transportation and travel costs on Form 3903, along with the total amount your employer paid towards the moving expenses (if any). It's important to note that if your employer paid all of your moving expenses, you cannot deduct them. However, if your total out-of-pocket moving expenses exceeded the allowance provided by your employer, then you can deduct the remaining amount.

I hope this information helps speed up your filing process during tax season. If you have a special case or circumstance, you may want to check with an accountant or tax professional for more information. And if you misplaced or need a copy of the actual shipping documents from your U-Pack move, you can access them via our Document Retrieval tool. (Just keep in mind you'll need your tracking and reference numbers to view or print the information.)