Taxes and Moving: What (and What's Not) Deductible

If you're moving to find a better career opportunity or you have been instructed by your boss to relocate to another area, you can benefit from tax deductions. But in order to get the most savings, you need to be informed about the basics of tax deductions for moving and what should be and should not be included in your computation.

Types of Deduction:

We hate it when our bosses deduct money from your income. But when it comes to taxes - it's way different and much more beneficial. Who wouldn't want to have deductions in their tax statements? If you're planning to move or you have moved within the taxing year, you should know the different types of deductions available. They include the following:

What to include:

In job-related moving, there are several types of expenses that you can deduct from your total income. These include the following:
  • Packing materials
    this refers to anything from the moving boxes to the packaging tape, bubble wraps, pads, furniture protectors, and other items that you purchased to cover all your belongings.

  • Cost of shipping
    whether you're hiring a moving company or just renting a truck to ship your belongings to your new home or apartment, the cost of shipping (which is usually the most expensive) can be deducted.

  • Lodging
    sometimes, you have to stop over and rent a hotel temporary lodging house before you can arrive on your destination. You may also need to look for a temporary place of resident in the new place especially if you would need to start working for the company early. Lodging is also costly. The good news is that it can be deducted.

What not to include
Knowing what not to include will help make the entire process of dealing with moving taxes easier. Below are the expenses that are not included for your tax deduction request:
  • Meals
    regardless of whether you're moving or not, it is a basic necessity to eat. But, don't think you can deduct the money you spent for dining in an expensive restaurant.

  • Unnecessary Expenses
    if there are expenses spent during the time of move but in no way connected to the actual moving process, they shouldn't be included. For example, if you hire a nanny for your kids or dog sitter for your dog, that's probably not deductible.


The first and most important qualification for this particular type of tax deduction is that you must have moved because you started a new job. There's an exception to this however. For instance, if you are a veteran who has moved to the US, you can deduct your moving expenses from your tax returns even if you don't start a new job. For Americans who are moving within the country to find a job, they should pass the time and distance test. For the distance test, your new job should be located somewhere 50 miles farther from your current address. For the time test, you must have worked for at least 39 weeks in a span of one year. If you're self-employed, you should be able to complete at least 78 hours.