A Short Chat About Deducting Moving Expenses

Stocking up on cheap moving boxes is one way to save some money during the moving process, but what about a tax deduction for the rest of the expenses?  Obviously, you can’t claim “cheap moving boxes” as a write off, but is there any part of a move that you can claim?  Like, what about when you have to move for your job?

It’s true that the government will give you back more on your tax return if you’ve moved for work.  But only SOMETIMES.  There are certain qualifications, obviously.  That’s the way it goes with government and taxes, or else everyone would be trying to get a tax break for moving one pile of boxes from one room to another.

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First of all, you really do have to be moving for work, which means that there needs to be a job already lined up where you are planning to go, which means you already have to be hired.  You can’t move somewhere new with the hopes and intentions of getting a new job and then say that it’s for work.  That’s the first requirement.

The second requirement is that the move be of a significant distance.  Now, thankfully, the distance isn’t really that great, in the grand scheme of things.  A mere fifty miles.  This is pretty much nothing to most people who are used to moving, especially for work.  Most people wouldn’t even bother moving the fifty miles at all, to be honest.  But still, the option’s there.

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After meeting these two pretty simple and straightforward requirements, the third is that you can’t quit your job right after moving.  You need to work a required number of weeks during the following twelve to twenty-four months after your move.  Of course the government doesn’t’ want to help foot your bill to get you to a new location just to have you take a break off from work.  The whole point of the tax break for moves related to jobs is that it keeps people productively employed.

If all of these three requirements are going to be met, you can start preparing for your tax deduction.  At this point you can annotate how much you spent on your cheap moving boxes, along with everything else (so long as they fit in the designated time frame).  In general, the costs of packing, shipping, unpacking, and storing your belongings can be included on the tax form.  Be careful, though.  The IRS is going to notice, and protest, if they see you’ve tried to sneak in an all-expenses paid vacation on the way.

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