Military Moving Expenses

 

To deduct moving expenses, you usually must meet certain time and distance tests. However, if you’re a member of the armed forces on active duty and you move due to a permanent change of station, you don’t have to meet these tests. You can deduct your unreimbursed moving expenses on Form 3903: Moving Expenses.

Permanent change of station — This includes a move from:

  • Your home to your first post of active duty
  • One permanent post of duty to another
  • Your last post of duty to your home or to a nearer point in the United States. The move must occur within either:
    • One year of ending your active duty
    • The period allowed under the Joint Federal Travel Regulations

Spouse and dependents — Spouses or dependents of a member of the armed forces who deserts, is imprisoned, or dies have special requirements. A permanent change of station includes a move to any of these locations:

  • To the member’s place of enlistment or induction
  • To your or the member’s home of record
  • A nearer point in the United States

The military might move you to or from a different location than the member. If so, the moves are treated as a single move to your new main job location.

Deductible moving expenses — You can deduct the unreimbursed expenses of moving your household goods and personal effects, including these expenses:

  • Hauling a trailer
  • Packing
  • Crating
  • In-transit storage
  • Insurance

You can include only the cost of storing and insuring your household goods and personal effects within any period of 30 consecutive days between these days:

  • After these goods and effects are moved from your former home
  • Before they’re delivered to your new home

You can deduct the expenses of traveling from your old home to your new home. These expenses don’t include meals, but they do include:

  • Lodging
  • Car expenses
  • Air fare

Foreign moves — A foreign move is a move from:

  • The United States or its possessions to a foreign country
  • One foreign country to another foreign country

It’s not a move from a foreign country to the United States or its possessions.

For a foreign move, the above deductible moving expenses are expanded to include these reasonable expenses:

  • Moving your household goods and personal effects to and from storage
  • Storing these items for part or all of the time the new job location remains your main job location

The military might move you to or from a different location than the military member. If so, the moves are treated as a single move to your new main job location.

To learn more, see these tax tips:

  • Military Income Inclusions
  • Military Income Exclusions
  • Combat Zone Exclusions
  • Military Extensions

Related Topics

Related Resources

How To File Taxes When Marrying A Non-U.S. Citizen

Learn more about the tax implications to consider if you're marrying a non-U.S. citizen and how to decide between your three options at H&R Block.

If I Change My Filing Status, How Does It Affect My Adjusted Gross Income?

Learn how a change to your filing status could affect your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for married taxpayers with the experts at H&R Block.

Where’s my refund – Iowa?

Looking for more information about your Iowa refund? Find out details on how to check your refund status, who to contact, and more from H&R Block.

Claiming Tax Benefits For A Nondependent Child

Do you know how to claim child care expenses for a nondependent child? Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.