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Smart move: Deduct your relocation expenses

Smart move: Deduct your relocation expenses

Did you move for a job last year? You may be entitled to a deduction for your unreimbursed moving expenses.

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Did you move because of a new job or a job location last year? You may be entitled to an “above-the-line” deduction for your unreimbursed moving expenses.

You can deduct the out-of-pocket costs of moving your household goods to your new location, and travel expenses, including overnight lodging (but not meals) while on the road, for one trip for yourself and each member of your household.

If you drive, you can claim a standard mileage allowance of 23 cents per mile. If you and your spouse each have a car, and you each drive your car to your new location, you can both claim the mileage allowance for the trip.

If you move within the United States you can also deduct storage and insurance of your household goods for up to 30 days after leaving your former home. And you can deduct the cost of moving your family pet to the new home.

For your expenses to be deductible the move must be “closely related” in time to the start of work at a new location, and you must meet a distance test and a time test:

Generally you must move within a year of starting work at the new location, although the move can be later if there are special circumstances. For example: You stay at your old home for 18 months after starting the new job to allow your daughter to complete high school.

The distance between your new job and former residence must be at least 50 miles more than the distance between your old job and former residence.

If you are an employee, you must work full time at your new location for at least 39 weeks in the 12 months after the move.

If you are self-employed you must meet the same test, and also work full time for a total of at least 78 weeks during 24 months after the move. Any combination of full-time employment and self-employment will satisfy this test.

If you are married, only one spouse must satisfy the time test.

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