Moving can be flat-out expensive. Fortunately, in some situations these costs can be written off on your taxes. Thanks to Chuck Myers of the McClatchy-Tribune News Service, I have put together a primer on tax deductions that might apply.
Reasonable expenses for work related relocation are deductible according to the time and distance rule. Your move must occur within one year of the start of work, must be 50 miles farther from your original home location, and you must be a fill time employee working at least 39 weeks after you arrive in your new location. If you own your own business, that time-frame extends to 78 weeks within the first two years. Only one spouse needs to meet the time and distance test.
What does the IRS consider reasonable? Packing and shipping your household goods and personal effects, travel costs to your new home (excluding meals), insurance, 30 days of storage, disconnecting and connecting utilities, are considered applicable deductions. Expenses paid for by your employer are not applicable unless they were added to your salary, but be careful because you can only make the allowable deductions. If your employer is really generous (lucky you!) you will be responsible to pay taxes on the money reimbursed to you for non-covered expenses like meals and temporary housing.
Word is that this is not an easy deduction to qualify for, but if you do, your deduction is above the line – no itemized deductions – using IRS Form 3903 (Moving Expenses). It sure could help relieve the pinch in the pocketbook.