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Moving Expenses: What’s Tax Deductible and Nondeductible?

Credits and Deductions Individual Taxes
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This deduction is no longer applicable to 2018 tax returns due to the changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was passed in December of 2017.

Did you move because of a change in work location last year?

If so, you can offset some of the expenses related to your relocation by taking a tax deduction for the costs that meet certain qualifications.

Tax laws

The rules for moving expenses are far less generous than they have been in years past, however. In years past, you could deduct expenses for a house-hunting trip. That’s gone by the wayside.

You can no longer deduct meals during a move. If you drive a moving truck across the country with the family, all those restaurant meals are non-deductible.

If your employer reimburses you for nondeductible expenses such as meals, you may have to pay tax on the reimbursement.

Deductible moving expenses

If you move more than 50 miles for work, and you or your spouse work at least 39 weeks in your new location (78 weeks if you are self-employed), you generally can deduct the following moving expenses:

  • Auto expenses, using either actual expenses or the standard rate for moving (19 cents per mile in 2012)
  • Parking and tolls
  • Lodging during the move
  • The cost to move household goods and personal items
  • In-transit and foreign-move storage expenses
  • One trip per member of your household
  • Lodging en route, including one day at the old location and one day at the new location

Nondeductible moving expenses

You cannot deduct:

  • Additional vehicle expenses, such as general repairs, maintenance, insurance, or depreciation
  • House-hunting trip expenses, or any other travel that exceeds one trip per member of your household
  • Costs of settling into your new home, including car tags, dog licenses, driver’s license, or club fees
  • Security deposits lost at the old home
  • The cost of breaking a lease at the old home
  • Costs of selling the old home or buying a new one, including closing costs, mortgage fees, and points
  • Loss on the sale of the old home
  • Lost memberships and so on at the old location
  • Return trips to settle affairs at the old home
  • Meals during the move
  • Storage for an extended period of time after the move
  • Any expenses for which you take a business deduction
  • Additional expenses for sightseeing, or the extra expense of taking a circuitous, scenic route.
  • Fix-up expenses at the old home

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