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Can You Claim Self Service Moving Expenses On Your Tax Return

February 14, 2012 · Print This Article

More and more people are opting for a self service move or one way moving rather than a move that is taken care of by professional moving companies. This growing trend has something to do with the fact that people just don’t have as much money as they used to. Instead of spending more and more, people want to conserve the cash they have so that they can pay their bills even though they might be out of work. For some, this means moving to another home, but hiring professionals is usually out of the question. As such, more and more moving truck rentals are being acquired and more people are looking to move their own goods so that they can save money.

There are many other ways that people can save money when moving other than just avoiding the costs associated with hiring moving companies. There is often savings that comes with being able to move your own things with a moving truck rental, such as the ability to use boxes you acquire from a local store, or by using towels and sheets instead of packing paper. But some people stop and ask themselves, despite all of this savings, if moving yourself is really worth it in the long run. Can you claim these self service moving expenses when you get ready to claim your tax return? The ultimate answer is yes, but only if you meet a few requirements.

IRS Moving Expense Deduction

The IRS offers a rather generous deduction for moving expenses if you qualify. Many people take advantage of this each year because there really are not that many requirements. In fact, the IRS only asks that you meet two real things when you want to take this deduction. They find out if you are eligible by asking two simple questions:

Is the move taking you more than fifty miles from your old home? Since many people move to be closer to a new job, the IRS has set a distance rule that requires the new job and the new home have to be at least fifty miles away from the one that you used to live in.

Are you going to work at least 39 of the 52 weeks of the year following the move? This is the second test to make sure that you are moving for your job. If you want to claim moving expenses, then you have to work most of the year following that move. If you claim these expenses and you don’t work for those 39 weeks, you will have to adjust the next year’s tax return.

Expenses that are Deductible

Once you know that you are eligible for the deduction, you can start to look at the different moving related expenses that might be deductible on your tax return. While generous, the IRS does have some things that are not deductible when it comes to your move. Make sure to go over the following to see what you might be able to claim when you are ready to sit down and file your taxes. You might be surprised at what you are eligible for.

The cost of the truck rental – You can deduct the cost that you paid to rent the truck for the duration of your move. This also includes any money you paid for extra equipment and helpful moving aids offered by the moving truck rental company.

The cost of help – If you had to hire some physical help to move your things to your truck and then back into your home at the other end of the move, you can deduct the costs associated with those companies.

The cost of fuel – While it is based on a per mile amount, you are eligible to deduct the cost of fuel when you travel to your new home. This is only valid for one trip and not any return trips.

The costs of insurance – When you move, it is a good idea to get moving insurance to protect your things. These costs are deductible under the IRS moving expense rules.

The cost of storage – If you have to store the things that you are moving before you move them into your new home, then you can claim those storage costs when you claim the moving expense deduction.

Making Moving More Affordable

While moving will cost you quite a bit regardless of how you moving, choosing to move your things on your own with a moving truck rental can be one of the cheapest routes to take. What’s more, you can also claim self service moving costs when you are ready to file your taxes for the year in which you move. Coupled with the money you can save on the move itself if you are vigilant, this can really bring the overall cost of the move to a level that you can actually afford regardless of where you stand in life. Keep these things in mind and keep all of your receipts so that you have no trouble taking the moving expense deduction this coming year.


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