Moving Expenses Tax Deductible
Income Tax Deductions: Home Moving Expenses


If you moved your home because of a change in your job location or because you started a new job, your moving expenses may be tax deductible if your move is closely related to the start of work. To qualify for the moving expense deduction, you must meet the distance and the time tests.

Tax Deductible Moving Expenses: The Distance Test

Your move will meet the distance test if your new main job location is at least 50 miles farther from your former home than your old main job location was. Use the shortest distance of the most commonly traveled routes between these points. To determine this, first figure the distance between your former home and your new job and then subtract the distance between your former home and your old job. If the result is 50 miles or more, you have met the distance test. For example, if the distance from your former home to your new job is 70 miles and the distance from your former home to your old job is 5 miles, you will meet the distance test. If you are a member of the armed forces and your move was due to a permanent change of station, you do not have to meet the distance test.

Tax Deductible Moving Expenses: The Time Test

The second test concerns time. If you are an employee, you must work full–time for at least 39 weeks during the 12 months right after you move. If you are self–employed, you must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months and for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first 24 months after you move. If you have not met the time test by the date your tax return is due, you may still deduct your moving expenses on your return as long as you expect to meet the time test. Then, if you do not meet the test, you must either:

  • Amend your tax return; or
  • Report the amount you deducted on the tax return as income on your next tax return if you had expected to meet the 39–week test, or on your tax return two years from when you took the deduction if you had expected to meet the 78–week test.

If you are married and are filing a joint return, only one spouse must meet the time test. You cannot, however, add the weeks your spouse worked to those you worked to satisfy the test. In general, you do not have to meet the time test if:

  • You are in the armed forces on active duty and your move was due to a permanent change of station; or
  • Your job at the new location ends because of death, disability, a transfer for your employer's benefit, or a layoff other than for willful misconduct; or
  • You moved from outside of the United States to the United States because you retired, or you are the surviving spouse or dependent of a person who died while living and working outside the United States, and your move begins within 6 months of that person's death.

What Moving Expenses Are Tax Deductible?

If you meet the requirements, you can deduct the reasonable expenses of moving your household goods and personal effects to your new home (these moving expenses are tax deductible for federal income tax purposes according to the IRS). You can also deduct the expenses of traveling to your new home, including your lodging expenses. You cannot, however, deduct meals or any moving expenses that were reimbursed by your employer.

Moving expenses are figured on IRS Form 3903 and deducted as an adjustment to income on Form 1040. For more details, see IRS Publication 521: Moving Expenses (PDF 139kb).

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