ASK KIM


Don't Miss This Deduction

Kimberly Lankford

If you had to relocate for a job, you might be able to write off your moving expenses.



I moved last year to take a new job. Can I deduct any expenses for moving or searching for a new job?

You can deduct moving expenses as long as your new job is at least 50 miles farther from your home than your old job was. For people starting their first job, the new workplace must be at least 50 miles from their old residence.

You'll be able to deduct the cost of packing, storage (within 30 days of the move), and hiring a moving company or renting a moving truck. You also can write off one-way travel expenses to your new home for everyone in the household -- including 20 cents a mile and parking fees and tolls if you drive.

You don't need to itemize to deduct these expenses. Report your moving expenses on Form 3903. For more information see IRS Publication 521 Moving Expenses.

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You also may be able to deduct job-search expenses if you changed jobs within the same line of work. In that case, you can deduct the cost of printing and mailing résumés, job-hunting phone calls, employment-agency fees, and the cost of travel to attend job interviews, regardless of whether you got that job.

Job-search expenses, however, are considered miscellaneous itemized deductions (like employee business expenses and investment-related expenses), which means you need to itemize and such expenses are deductible only to the extent they exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. For more details about these write-offs, see IRS Publication 529 Miscellaneous Deductions. You can't deduct job-search expenses for your first job.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.




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