Summertime is the time of year when people move the most. Moving is a lot of trouble and can also be very expensive. If you move to start a new job or to work at the same job in a new location, the cost can be tax deductible. To qualify for this deduction, you must satisfy two tests:
- the distance test, and
- the time test.
To deduct your moving expenses, your new workplace must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your prior job location. For example, if your old job location was three miles from your old home, your new job must be at least 53 miles from your old home. If you had no previous workplace, your new job location must be at least 50 miles from your old home. If you go back to full-time work after a substantial period of part-time work or unemployment, your place of work also must be at least 50 miles from your former home.
If you’re an employee, you must work full-time at your new job for at least 39 weeks the first year after the move. If you’re self-employed, you must also meet this test. In addition, you must work full-time for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first two years at the new job site. If your tax return is due before you meet the time test, you can still claim the deduction if you expect to meet it. There are exceptions to these rules in case of death, disability and involuntary separation, among other things.