Tax question about moving expenses
Question: I’m about to move to Florida to take a new job. Will my moving expenses be deductible?
Answer: I get this and similar questions often, especially when the April 15 income-tax deadline draws near. And the answer is always the same: It largely depends on how far you’re moving.
Generally, the Internal Revenue Service will let you deduct your moving expenses if your new job is at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job was. If you meet this so-called “distance test,” you can deduct the cost of hiring professional movers — both for packing and the actual transportation of your household goods — or the cost of renting a moving van if you’re doing the work yourself.
You can also deduct the cost of travel for yourself and the members of your household from your old home to your new home. That includes the cost of lodging, but not meals.
Additionally, the IRS provides move-related mileage deductions. The figure was 23 cents per mile in 2015, but the rate for moves that will be made this year hasn’t been determined yet.
There are some caveats. For starters, expenses that are reimbursed by your new employer are not deductible. Equally important, you must take the most direct route from your old home to your new one. That means that if you’re moving, say, from Chicago to Miami but plan to swing north first to spend a week in New York, you can’t expect Uncle Sam to help underwrite your sight-seeing jaunt.
Fortunately, you don’t need to itemize to take these deductions. All you need to do is to complete the five-line Form 3903, Moving Expenses, and attach it to your Form 1040.
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