What Active Military Members Should Know About the Moving Expenses Tax Deduction

Jane Campbell September 14, 2018
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Active MilitaryFor the tax seasons before 2018, the government enabled qualified taxpayers to deduct their moving costs if their reason for moving is due to a new job or if their employer transferred them to another location. Starting in 2019, however, this tax deduction for moving expenses would only be available to individuals who are military members on active duty that needs to relocate due to a military transfer.

If you think you qualify, below are the current requirements for eligible taxpayers to take advantage of the moving expenses tax deduction:

What Specific Expenses are Deductible?

The tax deduction covers the reasonable expenses you incur for transporting your belongings to your new location. These include the cost to rent a storage unit for 30 days in the event that it’s not possible to immediately move in after leaving your old house, explains a moving specialist from one of the top long distance moving and storage companies in the state.

You could also include traveling costs for you and your family, as well as the cost of gas, oil, highway tolls, and parking fees if you’re driving yourself to your new home. If you’re moving long distance, you could deduct the costs of train and airfare tickets.

What are the Requirements for the Time Test?

You should work fulltime for at least 39 weeks in the first 12 months starting on the day of your arrival in your new house. Note that you could still meet this requirement even if the 39-week period is inconsecutive and when working for different employers.

What are the Requirements for the Distance Test?

The costs of relocating within the same town don’t qualify for the moving expenses deduction. To qualify, the distance between your old location and your new one should be 50 miles minimum, and farther than the location of your old job from your old house. When calculating whether you meet the distance requirements, you need to use the shortest commute routes between the specified locations.

The tax deduction for moving expenses is among the select tax deductions you could claim prior to even knowing whether or not you meet the requirements. This is due to the fact that because of the 12-month period time test, the majority of qualified individuals can’t satisfy the test until the next tax season.

To remedy this, the IRS permits you to claim the moving expenses deduction in the specific year of your relocation. So, if you’re an eligible military member, determine if you qualify for the deduction so you could claim it come next tax season.

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