Can Taxpayers Still Take the Moving Expense Deduction?

October 24, 2018 : Brittany Benson – The Tax Institute

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on February 2, 2018 and updated in 2020.

Under the old tax law, taxpayers 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 they qualified.

Moving Expenses Deduction for 2019 Expenses

Does the moving expenses deduction apply to 2019 expenses? No. With the tax reform bill passed in 2017, the deduction for moving expenses is no longer available for most taxpayers.

What Were The Rules Associated With the Moving Expense Deduction Prior to Tax Reform?

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 (varies by circumstance).
  • 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.)

Who’s Affected by Tax Reform Moving Expense Deduction Changes?

The only exception to the suspension of the moving expenses deduction after tax reform is for taxpayers who are members of the military on active duty who move pursuant to a military order.

The change goes into effect for all other taxpayers for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, through December 31, 2025, unless additional legislation is passed.

This means, unless you are an active duty member of the military, you can’t deduct moving expenses starting in tax year 2018. However, if you moved in 2017 and you were reimbursed by your employer in 2018, you will not be taxed on the reimbursement.

Looking for Help Understanding Tax Reform?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes hundreds of changes that affect nearly every taxpayer. You can learn more about how these changes could impact you in our Tax Reform Center. If you’re looking for personal assistance, schedule an appointment with your nearest H&R Block tax professional.

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Brittany Benson – The Tax Institute

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