If you meet the requirements discussed earlier, you can deduct the
reasonable expenses of:
- Moving your household goods and personal effects (including
in-transit or foreign-move storage expenses), and
- Traveling (including lodging but not meals) to your new
You cannot deduct any expenses for meals.
You can deduct only those expenses that are reasonable for the
circumstances of your move. For example, the cost of traveling from
your former home to your new one should be by the shortest, most
direct route available by conventional transportation. If during your
trip to your new home, you stop over, or make side trips for
sight-seeing, the additional expenses for your stopover or side trips
are not deductible as moving expenses.
Travel by car.
If you use your car to take yourself, members of your household, or
your personal effects to your new home, you can figure your expenses
by deducting either:
- Your actual expenses, such as gas and oil for
your car, if you keep an accurate record of each expense, or
- 10 cents a mile.
When using the standard mileage rate of 10 cents a mile, you
can also deduct parking fees and tolls you pay in moving. You cannot
deduct any part of general repairs, general maintenance, insurance, or
depreciation for your car.
Member of your household.
You can deduct moving expenses you pay for yourself and members of
your household. A member of your household is anyone who has both your
former and new home as his or her home. It does not include a tenant
or employee, unless you can claim that person as a dependent.
Location of move.
There are different rules for moving within or to the United States
than for moving outside the United States. These rules are discussed
Moves Within or to the United States
If you meet the requirements under Who Can Deduct Moving
Expenses, earlier, you can deduct allowable expenses for a move
to the area of a new main job location within the United States or its
possessions. Your move may be from one United States location to
another or from a foreign country to the United States.
Use Form 3903 to deduct your moving expenses. An example of a
filled-in Form 3903 is shown later. A separate Form 3903 must be
completed for each move.
Household goods and personal effects.
You can deduct the cost of packing, crating, and transporting your
household goods and personal effects and those of the members of your
household from your former home to your new home. If you use your own
car to move your things, see Travel by car, earlier. You
can include the cost of storing and insuring household goods and
personal effects within any period of 30 consecutive days
after the day your things are moved from your former home and before
they are delivered to your new home.
You can deduct any costs of connecting or disconnecting utilities
required because you are moving your household goods, appliances, or
You can deduct the cost of shipping your car and your household
pets to your new home.
You can deduct the cost of moving your household goods and personal
effects from a place other than your former home. Your deduction is
limited to the amount it would have cost to move them from your former
Paul Brown is a resident of North Carolina and has been working
there for the last 4 years. Because of the small size of his
apartment, he stored some of his furniture in Georgia with his
parents. Paul got a job in Washington, DC. It cost him $300 to move
his furniture from North Carolina to Washington and $1,100 to move his
furniture from Georgia to Washington. If Paul shipped his furniture in
Georgia from North Carolina (his former home), it would have cost
$600. He can deduct only $600 of the $1,100 he paid. The amount he can
deduct for moving his furniture is $900 ($300 + $600).
You cannot deduct the cost of moving furniture you buy on the way
to your new home.
You can deduct the cost of transportation and lodging for yourself
and members of your household while traveling from your former home to
your new home. This includes expenses for the day you arrive. You can
include any lodging expenses you had in the area of your former home
within one day after you could not live in your former home because
your furniture had been moved. You can deduct expenses for only one
trip to your new home for yourself and members of your household.
However, all of you do not have to travel together or at the same
time. If you use your own car, see Travel by car, earlier.
Moves Outside the United States
To deduct allowable expenses for a move outside the United States,
you must be a United States citizen or resident alien who moves to the
area of a new place of work outside the United States or its
possessions. You must meet the requirements under Who Can Deduct
Moving Expenses, earlier.
Use Form 3903 if you moved outside the United States or its
possessions. A filled-in Form 3903 is shown later. A separate Form
3903 must be completed for each move.
For an explanation of expenses that you can deduct, see the
discussion Moves Within or to the United States, earlier.
The following discussion gives additional information on expenses that
you can deduct on Form 3903.
You can deduct the reasonable expenses of moving your personal
effects to and from storage. You can also deduct the reasonable
expenses of storing your personal effects for all or part of the time
the new job location remains your main job location. The new job
location must be outside the United States.
You do not have to complete Form 3903 if all of the following
- You moved in an earlier year.
- You are claiming only storage fees while you are away from
the United States.
- Any amount your employer paid for the storage fees is
included as wages in box 1 of your Form W-2.
Instead, enter the storage fees (after the reduction for the
part that is allocable to excluded income) on line 26, Form 1040, and
write "Storage" next to the amount.
Moving expenses allocable to excluded foreign income.
If you live and work outside the United States, you may be able to
exclude from income part or all of the income you earn in the foreign
country. You may also be able to claim a foreign housing exclusion or
deduction. If you claim the foreign earned income or foreign housing
exclusions, you cannot deduct the part of your allowable moving
expenses that relates to the excluded income.
Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident
Aliens Abroad, discusses the foreign earned income exclusion,
the foreign housing exclusion, and the foreign housing deduction. It
also explains how to figure the part of your moving expenses that
relates to excluded income. You can get the publication from most
United States Embassies and consulates, or see How To Get Tax
Help at the end of this publication.
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