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Are Moving Expenses Tax Deductible?


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The short answer to this question is – no, moving expenses are no longer deductible. Some exceptions do apply in cases where you can claim your moving taxes.

The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act changed the rules for claiming the moving expense tax deduction. For most taxpayers moving expenses are no longer deductible from the years 2018 – January 1st, 2026. The elimination might be permanent, but nothing is set in stone yet.

If you moved in 2017 for a new job or to seek employment, your moving expenses may be deductible for that year. If you didn’t claim the deduction, it might be worth amending your federal return. You usually have up to three years from the time you filed a return, to amend it. You use IRS Form 1040-X to file an amended return.

Who Is Qualified for Moving Tax Deductible?

Taxes Moving and Storage

If you serve as an active-duty military member, you can claim moving deductions against your taxable income and include them on form 3903 as an attachment to your Form 1040. 

To claim this deduction as an active member of the Armed Forces, your move must result from a military order and a permanent change of station. You can deduct your moving expenses for you, your spouse, and your dependents. 

To qualify for the deduction you must meet three additional tests:

  1. Distance Test: Your new work location must be at least 50 miles farther from your previous home than your old work location. For example, suppose you commuted 10 miles from your old home to your old workplace. If your new workplace is 100 miles from your old home, then you meet the distance test, because 100 miles minus 10 miles is 90 miles, which meets the 50-mile minimum.
  2. Time Test: Within 12 months either before or after the time you start working at your new workplace, you must relocate to your new home.
  3. Length Of Work Test: You must work full time for an employer for at least a total of 39 weeks in the year following your move. But the weeks don’t need to be consecutive and it doesn’t have to be the same employer the entire time. If you are self-employed, you need to work full-time in self-employment for at least 39 weeks during the first year after your move and for at least 78 weeks during the two years after your relocation.

If you’re active-duty military and move to a new duty station or to a retirement location, you don’t need to meet the length-of-work and distance tests.

Only Direct Moving Costs Are Deductible

Taxes with moving

What is included in deductible moving costs:

  • travel costs for yourself and family members traveling with you
  • packing and moving household goods
  • turning off utilities at your old location
  • shipping a vehicle
  • temporary lodging while traveling to your new location
  • parking costs
  • storage costs for your property for up to 30 days until it is delivered to your new home

Things that aren’t deductible include:

  • meals you ate on the way to your new location
  • costs related to any side trips you took while traveling to your new location
  • trips before your move to look for a new home
  • purchasing or remodeling your new home, signing a new rental lease
  • temporary lodging at your new location while waiting to move into your new home
  • costs of returning to your old location after you move

Laws do change frequently, therefore we advise you to keep an eye out for any changes that may occur. Even though most of people can not claim their moving expenses, keep your receipts in case there are changes in the future regarding this.