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Clergy Moving Expenses

To deduct moving expenses, your new main job location must be at least 50 miles farther from your former home than your old main job location.

If your church reimburses you for your allowable moving expenses, your employer should exclude these reimbursements from your income.

Job-related moves can cost a lot, but some expenses can be deducted when figuring your federal income tax. Moving household goods is still deductible, as is travel and lodging on the way to the new home. But any side trips while en route are not deductible.

Expenses that were not reimbursed by your church, or that were reimbursed but counted as income, can be deducted. Actual car expenses, such as gas and oil, are deductible if accurate records are kept, or take 10 cents a mile instead. Parking fees and tools are deductible, but general car repairs, maintenance, insurance or depreciation are not.

Other expenses that cannot be deducted include pre-move househunting expenses, temporary living expenses, meals, expenses of buying or selling a home, home improvements to help sell a home, loss on a home sale, real-estate taxes, car tags, driver’s license and storage charges except those paid in-transit and for foreign moves.

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. 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 personal effects.

You can deduct the cost of shipping your car and household pets to your new home.

You can deduct the cost of moving 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 home.

Member of 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.

Nondeductible Expenses

You cannot deduct the following items as moving expenses:

  • Pre-move househunting expenses
  • Temporary living expenses
  • Meal expenses
  • Expenses of buying or selling a home
  • Expenses of getting or breaking a lease
  • Security deposits (including any given up due to the move)
  • Home improvements to help sell your home
  • Loss on the sale of your home
  • Mortgage penalties
  • Losses from disposing of memberships in clubs
  • Any part of the purchase price of your new home
  • Real estate taxes
  • Car tags
  • Driver’s license
  • Refitting carpets and draperies
  • Storage charges (except those incurred in transit)

Reasonable expenses

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 make side trips for sightseeing, the additional expenses for your 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 belongings 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
  • For tax years beginning in 2008, the allowable deductions for the standard mileage rate for the period January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2008, are as follows:
  • The standard mileage rate for determining moving expenses is 19 cents a mile.

You can deduct parking fees and tolls you paid in moving. You cannot deduct any part of general repairs, general maintenance, insurance, or depreciation for your car.

Travel Expenses

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.

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