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Tax Breaks For Moving

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Tax Breaks for Moving that Renters & Homeowners Can Both Qualify For!
See if you qualify on the following tax breaks for moving: job site distance test, employment time test, delay residence change and employer reimbursements.

Job Site Distance Test
If your new main job location is at least 50 miles (farther away) from your former home than your old main job location was from your former home, then you can deduct residential moving costs regardless of the distance from your new home to your new job main job location. Meet this simple distance test and most of your household moving costs becomes tax deductible. This tax break is available whether you take the standard deduction or itemize your deductions. See the Illustration of Distance Test below for determining whether moving expenses can be deducted. It shows three job locations in relation to the distance they are from your former residence.

  1. The old main job location is shown as 3 miles from the former residence.
  2. One new main job location is depicted as being 38 miles from the former residence, and therefore, the distance test is not met because it is not at least 50 miles farther from the former residence than the old main job was.
  3. The other new main job location is depicted as being 58 miles from the former residence. The distance test is met because the location is at least 50 miles farther from the former residence than the old main job location was. Top

    job distance test for tax breaks - moving, relocating

Employment Time Test
Tax breaks for moving includes employment time at your new job location. This moving expense deduction test requires you to work full-time in the vicinity of your new job site at least 39 weeks within the 12 months after the job location change. You need not continue working for the same employer, nor must the 39 weeks of work be consecutive. But the time spent looking for work doesn't count. Either spouse can qualify, but one spouse's work time cannot be added to the other's.

Self-employed taxpayers must work at least 78 weeks full-time in the vicinity of the new job location within 24 months after the change. However, at least 39 of these workweeks must be within the 12 months after a residence change. These work-time tests usually stop students and hobbyists from qualifying by working just a few hours a week. But disability, job layoffs or the taxpayer's death are reasons the IRS will waive the work-time test. Top

Delay Residence Change
If you delay changing your residence for up to a year after the qualifying job site change, your moving cost deductions are still safe. But moving expenses incurred more than a year after the job location change usually require justification.

IRS Revenue Ruling 78-200 allowed a moving expense deduction 30 months after the husband began his job. The delay was so the children could finish school at their old location. However, part of the moving expenses were incurred within a year after the job location change.

If you pass both the distance and time tests, your tax breaks for moving doesn't stop there, your direct moving costs also becomes deductible. Examples are expenses of moving household furniture and clothing, family transportation costs (but not meals en route), lodging en route, and the costs of driving your car.

Either 10 cents per mile auto expenses or your actual gas, oil and repairs (but not depreciation) for the moving trip are deductible. Additional examples of deductible direct expenses include the costs of shipping a pet or car, packing and crating fees, in-transit storage of up to 30 days, and insurance. But house-hunting and pre-move indirect costs are not deductible.

Employer Reimbursements
If your employer gave you a moving allowance, such as $3,000, it is fully taxable as income. Of course, your direct moving expenses are deductible, perhaps eliminating any tax on the reimbursement. However, if you reported deductible moving costs to your employer who then reimbursed you for actual expenses, the reimbursement is not taxable income to you. But employer reimbursements for nondeductible expenses, such as loss on the sale of your home, are taxable income for to you. Armed Forces members qualify for special moving cost reimbursements.

If you have further questions or comments about tax breaks for moving, go to the moving blog to search the archives for more answers, post your questions and even tell your experiences. The moving community would love to hear from you! Top

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