Tax Write Offs for Moving

by Louise Balle, Demand Media
    A moving truck rental is just one expense you may be able to write off.

    A moving truck rental is just one expense you may be able to write off.

    If you've recently moved because you gained a new position in another city, you may be able to write off the costs of moving on your taxes. This is recorded on IRS Form 3903—it determines the total amount of your moving deduction so you can then transfer the figure to the "Adjusted Gross Income" area of Form 1040. According to IRS Publication 521, you can deduct "packing, crating, and transporting your household goods and personal effects and those of the members of your household from your former home to your new home."

    Moving Truck and Storage

    One possible tax write-off is the cost of renting a moving truck to transport your goods from point A to point B (your new home). This includes the base rental fee, mileage fees and any additional costs charged by the moving company that are directly associated with the move. If you purchase items that help you during the move, such as a dolly or boxes, they are also deductible. If you hire someone to help you with the move, you can deduct this cost as well. Finally, if you need to keep your items in a storage location during the moving process, you may be able to deduct that fee as well.

    Utility Disconnection Fees

    Another cost that you can deduct is the cost of disconnecting or establishing utility services due to the move. For instance, if your phone, electric or water company charges you a fee to disconnect a service, that cost is deductible as a moving expense. When relocating it's often necessary to completely shut off utilities and establish new accounts with new companies. Keep in mind that the deduction only applies to a disconnection or connection fee.

    Lodging and Travel Expenses

    If you have to stay in a hotel during the moving process, that cost may be eligible for a write-off. You can also deduct vehicle mileage costs as a moving expense (24 cents per mile as of 2009) or deduct actual expenses associated with driving to the new location. If you decide to ship your car to the new location instead of driving, this also classifies as a moving expense.

    Eligibility

    Before you get too excited, make sure you meet the basic requirements for writing off the cost of moving to a new location. For one, the move must be a result of finding a new job. The location of the new job must be at least 50 miles from your old job. You also have to work at the job for at least 39 weeks on a full-time basis. Self-employed professionals must work full-time for at least 78 weeks in the new location during the initial 24 months to take the deduction. If you're married, only one of you has to meet these requirements. The exact rules may vary by tax year and there are some exceptions to the basic requirements. Examine IRS Publication 521 (Moving Expenses) thoroughly before taking this deduction. Be sure to keep your receipts from the move.

    About the Author

    Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.

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