Relocating to a new home can be costly, which can add another layer of stress to an already overwhelming situation. Fortunately, you may be able to relieve some of that financial strain by deducting your move from your taxes.

To be eligible for a tax deductible move, your relocation must meet several basic requirements set by the IRS.

you are a member of the military and your move was due to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or military order, typically your move will only be tax deductible if it’s related to starting a new job or business.

Within that framework, your new job will need to pass the “time and distance” tests. You will need to work full time at your new position for at least 39 weeks (about 10 months) in the first year after you move. If you are self-employed, to pass the time test you will need to work at least 78 weeks in the next two years following your move. You do not need to count vacation time, work missed due to illness, or school breaks for teachers.

In regards to the “distance test,” your new job or business needs to be at least 50 miles further away from your former home than your previous workplace was in order to pass. For instance, if your prior position was 10 miles away from your old house, your new job must be at least 60 miles away from that house.

So if your situation meets these standards, what are you allowed to deduct on your taxes? Deductions are limited to “reasonable expenses” that cover your packing and moving costs. This includes the price of moving and shipping your belongings, gas mileage (if driving), lodging, temporary storage, and plane tickets if any member of your family is flying to your new city. You can usually deduct utility startup fees at your new residence as well. In some cases, the cost of shipping and transporting pets can be deducted as well. Make sure to save receipts and keep accurate records of your spending during the move. That makes this process much easier when you are filing your taxes.

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