Publication 521: Moving Expenses

Publication 521 is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) resource that explains the rules for deducting moving expenses on your tax return. However, there's a crucial point to understand:

Deduction Currently Suspended (for most taxpayers): For tax years 2018 through 2025, the deduction for certain moving expenses is suspended for non-military taxpayers. This means you generally cannot deduct moving expenses on your tax return unless you're an active member of the Armed Forces on active duty moving due to a permanent change of station.

Reimbursements Not Excluded from Income: Moving expense reimbursements received by non-military taxpayers for tax years 2018-2025 are considered taxable income.

Who Can Deduct Moving Expenses (if applicable)?

Active Military: If you're an active member of the military and are moving because of a permanent change of station (PCS) ordered by the Armed Forces, you may be able to deduct your reasonable moving expenses. Publication 521 explains the specific rules for military moves.

What Expenses Can Be Deducted (for applicable taxpayers)

Transportation costs: This includes the cost of hiring a moving company, renting a truck, gas, oil, tolls, and car repairs specifically related to the move (not general maintenance). You can deduct the actual expenses incurred or use the standard mileage rate set by the IRS.

Lodging: Reasonable expenses for overnight lodging while traveling directly to your new home.

Temporary storage: The cost of storing your belongings for a short period of time while waiting to move into your new home.

Expenses You Cannot Deduct:

Meals: The cost of food while traveling is not deductible.

House hunting trips: Expenses incurred while searching for a new home are not deductible.

Selling your old home or buying your new home: Costs associated with buying or selling your homes are not considered moving expenses.

Improvements to your new home: Costs related to renovations or settling into your new home are not deductible.

Can I deduct moving expenses if I'm not in the military?

No, for tax years 2018-2025, the deduction for moving expenses is generally suspended for non-military taxpayers.

What if I received reimbursement for my moving expenses?

If you're not an active military member and received reimbursement for your moving expenses between 2018-2025, the reimbursement is considered taxable income.

Where can I find the latest version of Publication 521?

You can download the most recent version (2018) attached below.