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Are moving expenses tax deductible?

3 min read

3 min read

Is moving in your future? You might be dreading the costs associated with the move and wonder, “Is there anything I can deduct from my taxes to lessen the financial burden?”

Under previous tax laws, you could deduct approved costs associated with moving household goods and personal items, along with the travel costs of moving to the new home (excluding meals) if you qualified.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated the deduction for moving expenses for most taxpayers between 2018 and 2025, except certain members of the Armed Forces and their families. Then, it reverts to previous tax law. (Check back with us for details at a later date!)

Moving expenses tax deduction – current requirements

So, what are the current rules?  For tax years after 2018, you can deduct moving expenses on your federal tax return if you’re in the military and are:

  1. Active-duty military member, and you permanently move to a new base pursuant to a military order
  2. The dependent or spouse of a military member who moves to a new base
  3. The spouse or dependent of a military member that died, was imprisoned or deserted

Moving expenses tax deduction – previous requirements

Trying to remember the old rules? Prior to passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), you could qualify for the moving expense deduction if:

  • Your employer didn’t pay or reimburse the moving costs and exclude the payment or reimbursement from your income.
  • Your new work location was a certain distance from your former home.
  • You worked a minimum amount of time in the first one or two years after your move, depending on your employment status. (Special rules applied to members of the armed services.)

In 2025, when the TCJA law expires, the law could revert to former requirements.

What moving expenses are deductible now?

As mentioned above, you can still claim the moving expense deduction if you or your spouse is a member of the military on active duty who moves pursuant to a military order. But you won’t be able to claim just anything as a moving expense. Allowable expenses are anything that is reasonable for the circumstances of your move of personal affects and goods, like:

  • Temporary storage
  • Packing and crating of personal items
  • Traveling expenses (including lodging) to your new home

Unfortunately, you can’t deduct any expenses for meals, or any moving expenses covered by reimbursements from the government (or paid for directly by the government) excluded from your income.

You can calculate moving expenses on IRS Form 3903. Then, on IRS Form 1040 you can deduct the sum of total moving expenses.

View more guidance on military moving expenses.

Looking for tax help?

Tax laws frequently change, so it’s important to stay informed or consult someone who can. If you’re looking for personal guidance, make an appointment with your nearest H&R Block tax professional.

Whether you work virtually, drop your taxes off at an office, or work with a tax pro at one of our offices, we can help you file taxes with ease and accuracy.

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