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taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203434
Publication 521

 
Moving 
Expenses

rule

What's New(p1)


taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203436
Standard mileage rate.(p1)
For 2012, the standard mileage rate for using your vehicle to move to a new home is 23 cents per mile. See Travel by car under Deductible Moving Expenses.

Reminders(p1)


taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000266241
Future developments.(p1)
For the latest information about developments related to Publication 521, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www.irs.gov/pub521.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203438
Change of address.(p1)
If you change your mailing address, be sure to notify the IRS using Form 8822, Change of Address. Mail it to the Internal Revenue Service Center for your old address. Addresses for the service centers are on the back of the form. If you change your business address, use Form 8822-B, Change of Address—Business.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203439
Photographs of missing children.(p1)
The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000270145Introduction

This publication explains the deduction of certain expenses of moving to a new home because you changed job locations or started a new job. It includes the following topics. Form 3903, Moving Expenses, is used to claim the moving expense deduction. An example of how to report your moving expenses, including a filled-in Form 3903, is shown near the end of the publication.
You may be able to deduct moving expenses whether you are self-employed or an employee. Your expenses generally must be related to starting work at your new job location. However, certain retirees and survivors may qualify to claim the deduction even though they are not starting work at a new job location. See Who Can Deduct Moving Expenses.
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Recordkeeping.(p2)

rule
It is important to maintain an accurate record of expenses you paid to move. You should save items such as receipts, bills, cancelled checks, credit card statements, and mileage logs. Also, you should save your Form W-2 and statements of reimbursement from your employer.
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Comments and suggestions.(p2)

rule
We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
Individual and Specialty Forms and Publications Branch
SE:W:CAR:MP:T:I
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224


We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at taxforms@irs.gov. Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. You can also send us comments from www.irs.gov/formspubs/. Select "Comment on Tax Forms and Publications" under "More Information."
Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000290400
Ordering forms and publications.(p2)
Visit www.irs.gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

Internal Revenue Service
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613


taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000290401
Tax questions.(p2)
If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS.gov or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.

taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#TXMP22eb63df

Useful items

You may want to see:


Publication
 3 Armed Forces' Tax Guide
Forms (and Instructions)
 1040: U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
 1040X: Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
 3903: Moving Expenses
 8822: Change of Address
 8822–B: Change of Address-Business
See How To Get Tax Help, near the end of this publication, for information about getting the publications and the forms listed above.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203444

Who Can Deduct Moving Expenses(p2)

rule
You can deduct your moving expenses if you meet all three of the following requirements. After you have read these rules, you may want to use Figure B to help you decide if you can deduct your moving expenses.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203445

Retirees, survivors, and Armed Forces members.(p2)

rule
Different rules may apply if you are a member of the Armed Forces or a retiree or survivor moving to the United States. These rules are discussed later in this publication.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203446

Move Related to Start of Work(p2)

rule
Your move must be closely related, both in time and in place, to the start of work at your new job location.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203447

Closely related in time.(p2)

rule
In most cases, you can consider moving expenses incurred within 1 year from the date you first reported to work at the new location as closely related in time to the start of work. It is not necessary that you arrange to work before moving to a new location, as long as you actually go to work in that location.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000272168

Figure A. Illustration of Distance Test

taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000272167
If you do not move within 1 year of the date you begin work, you ordinarily cannot deduct the expenses unless you can show that circumstances existed that prevented the move within that time.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203448

Example.(p3)

Your family moved more than a year after you started work at a new location. You delayed the move for 18 months to allow your child to complete high school. You can deduct your moving expenses.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203451

Closely related in place.(p3)

rule
You can generally consider your move closely related in place to the start of work if the distance from your new home to the new job location is not more than the distance from your former home to the new job location. If your move does not meet this requirement, you may still be able to deduct moving expenses if you can show that:
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203452
Home defined.(p3)
Your home means your main home (residence). It can be a house, apartment, condominium, houseboat, house trailer, or similar dwelling. It does not include other homes owned or kept up by you or members of your family. It also does not include a seasonal home, such as a summer beach cottage. Your former home means your home before you left for your new job location. Your new home means your home within the area of your new job location.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203453

Retirees or survivors.(p3)

rule
You may be able to deduct the expenses of moving to the United States or its possessions even though the move is not related to the start of work at a new job location. You must have worked outside the United States or be a survivor of someone who did. See Retirees or Survivors Who Move to the United States, later.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203454

Distance Test(p3)

rule
Your move will meet the distance test if your new main job location is at least 50 miles farther from your former home than your old main job location was from your former home. For example, if your old main job location was 3 miles from your former home, your new main job location must be at least 53 miles from that former home. You can use Worksheet 1 to see if you meet this test.
Worksheet 1. Distance Test
 Note. Members of the Armed Forces may not have to meet this test. See Members of the Armed Forces.  
1.Enter the number of miles from your old home to your new workplace 1.miles
2.Enter the number of miles from your old home to your old workplace2.miles
3.Subtract line 2 from line 1. If zero or less, enter -0-3.miles
4.Is line 3 at least 50 miles?
□ Yes. You meet this test.
□ No. You do not meet this test. You cannot deduct your moving expenses.
The distance between a job location and your home is the shortest of the more commonly traveled routes between them. The distance test considers only the location of your former home. It does not take into account the location of your new home. See Figure A, earlier.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203456

Example.(p4)

You moved to a new home less than 50 miles from your former home because you changed main job locations. Your old main job location was 3 miles from your former home. Your new main job location is 60 miles from that home. Because your new main job location is 57 miles farther from your former home than the distance from your former home to your old main job location, you meet the distance test.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203457

First job or return to full-time work.(p4)

rule
If you go to work full time for the first time, your place of work must be at least 50 miles from your former home to meet the distance test.
If you go back to full-time work after a substantial period of part-time work or unemployment, your place of work also must be at least 50 miles from your former home.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203458

Armed Forces.(p4)

rule
If you are in the Armed Forces and you moved because of a permanent change of station, you do not have to meet the distance test. See Members of the Armed Forces, later.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203459

Main job location.(p4)

rule
Your main job location is usually the place where you spend most of your working time. This could be your office, plant, store, shop, or other location. If there is no one place where you spend most of your working time, your main job location is the place where your work is centered, such as where you report for work or are otherwise required to "base" your work.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203460
Union members.(p4)
If you work for several employers on a short-term basis and you get work under a union hall system (such as a construction or building trades worker), your main job location is the union hall.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203461
More than one job.(p4)
If you have more than one job at any time, your main job location depends on the facts in each case. The more important factors to be considered are:
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000272151

Table 1. Satisfying the Time Test for Employees and Self-Employed Persons

IF you are... THEN you satisfy the time test by meeting the...
an employee 39-week test for employees.
self-employed 78-week test for self-employed persons.
both self-employed and an employee at the same time 78-week test for a self-employed person or the 39-week
 test for an employee. Your principal place of work
 determines which test applies.
both self-employed and an employee, but unable to satisfy the 39-week test for employees 78-week test for self-employed persons.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203462

Time Test(p4)

rule
To deduct your moving expenses, you also must meet one of the following two time tests. Both of these tests are explained below. See Table 1, below, for a summary of these tests.
You can deduct your moving expenses before you meet either of the time tests. See Time Test Not Yet Met, later.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203463

Time Test for Employees(p5)

rule
If you are an employee, you must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after you arrive in the general area of your new job location (39-week test). Full-time employment depends on what is usual for your type of work in your area.
For purposes of this test, the following four rules apply.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203464

Temporary absence from work.(p5)

rule
You are considered to have worked full time during any week you are temporarily absent from work because of illness, strikes, lockouts, layoffs, natural disasters, or similar causes. You are also considered to have worked full time during any week you are absent from work for leave or vacation provided for in your work contract or agreement.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203465

Seasonal work.(p5)

rule
If your work is seasonal, you are considered to be working full time during the off-season only if your work contract or agreement covers an off-season period of less than 6 months. For example, a school teacher on a 12-month contract who teaches on a full-time basis for more than 6 months is considered to have worked full time for the entire 12 months.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203575

Figure B. Can You Deduct Expenses for a Non-Military Move Within the United States?

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taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203468

Time Test for Self-Employed Persons(p5)

rule
If you are self-employed, you must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months and for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first 24 months after you arrive in the general area of your new job location (78-week test).
For purposes of the time test for self-employed persons, the following three rules apply.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000264228

Example.(p6)

You are a self-employed accountant who moves from Atlanta to New York City, and begin to work there on December 1, 2012. You pay moving expenses in 2012 and 2013 in connection with this move. On April 15, 2013, when you file your income tax return for the year 2012, you have been performing services as a self-employed individual on a full-time basis in New York City for approximately 20 weeks. Although you have not satisfied the 78-week employment condition at this time, you can deduct your 2012 moving expenses on your 2012 income tax return as there is still sufficient time remaining before December 1, 2014, to satisfy such condition. You can deduct any moving expenses you pay in 2013 on your 2013 income tax return even if you have not met the 78-week test. You have until December 1, 2014, to satisfy this requirement.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203469

Self-employment.(p6)

rule
You are self-employed if you work as the sole owner of an unincorporated business or as a partner in a partnership carrying on a business. You are not considered self-employed if you are semi-retired, are a part-time student, or work only a few hours each week.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203470

Full-time work.(p6)

rule
You can count only those weeks during which you work full time as a week of work. Whether you work full time during any week depends on what is usual for your type of work in your area. For example, you are a self-employed dentist and maintain office hours 4 days a week. You are considered to perform services full time if maintaining office hours 4 days a week is not unusual for other self-employed dentists in your area.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203474
Temporary absence from work.(p6)
You are considered to be self-employed on a full-time basis during any week you are temporarily absent from work because of illness, strikes, natural disasters, or similar causes.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203475
Seasonal trade or business.(p6)
If your trade or business is seasonal, the off-season weeks when no work is required or available may be counted as weeks during which you worked full time. The off-season must be less than 6 months and you must work full time before and after the off-season.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203476

Example.(p6)

You own and operate a motel at a beach resort. The motel is closed for 5 months during the off-season. You work full time as the operator of the motel before and after the off-season. You are considered self-employed on a full-time basis during the weeks of the off-season.
If you were both an employee and self-employed, see Table 1 earlier, for the requirements.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203477

Example.(p6)

Justin quit his job and moved from the east coast to the west coast to begin a full-time job as a cabinet-maker for C and L Cabinet Shop. He generally worked at the shop about 40 hours each week. Shortly after the move, Justin also began operating a cabinet-installation business from his home for several hours each afternoon and all day on weekends. Because Justin's principal place of business is the cabinet shop, he can satisfy the time test by meeting the 39-week test.
If Justin is unable to satisfy the requirements of the 39-week test during the 12-month period immediately following his arrival in the general location of his new principal place of work, he can satisfy the 78-week test.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203478

Joint Return(p6)

rule
If you are married, file a joint return, and both you and your spouse work full-time, either of you can satisfy the full-time work test. However, you cannot add the weeks your spouse worked to the weeks you worked to satisfy that test.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203479

Time Test Not Yet Met(p6)

rule
You can deduct your moving expenses on your 2012 tax return even though you have not met the time test by the date your 2012 return is due. You can do this if you expect to meet the 39-week test in 2013 or the 78-week test in 2013 or 2014.
If you do not deduct your moving expenses on your 2012 return, and you later meet the time test, you can file an amended return for 2012 to take the deduction. See When To Deduct Expenses later, for more details.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203480

Failure to meet the time test.(p6)

rule
If you deduct moving expenses but do not meet the time test in 2013 or 2014, you must either:
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Example.(p6)

You arrive in the general area of your new job location, as an employee, on September 15, 2012. You deduct your moving expenses on your 2012 return, the year of the move, even though you have not yet met the time test by the date your return is due. If you do not meet the 39-week test during the 12-month period following your arrival in the general area of your new job location, you must either:
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203482

Exceptions to the Time Test(p7)

rule
You do not have to meet the time test if one of the following applies.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203483

Retirees or Survivors Who Move to the United States(p7)

rule
If you are a retiree who was working abroad or a survivor of a decedent who was working abroad and you move to the United States or one of its possessions, you do not have to meet the time test, discussed earlier. However, you must meet the requirements discussed below under Retirees who were working abroad or Survivors of decedents who were working abroad.
EIC
If you are living in the United States, retire, and then move and remain retired, you cannot claim a moving expense deduction for that move.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203485
United States defined.(p7)
For this section of this publication, the term "United States" includes the possessions of the United States.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203486

Retirees who were working abroad.(p7)

rule
You can deduct moving expenses for a move to a new home in the United States when you permanently retire. However, both your former main job location and your former home must have been outside the United States.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203487
Permanently retired.(p7)
You are considered permanently retired when you cease gainful full-time employment or self-employment. If, at the time you retire, you intend your retirement to be permanent, you will be considered retired even though you later return to work. Your intention to retire permanently may be determined by:
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203488

Decedents.(p7)

rule
Qualified deductible moving expenses are allowed on a final return (Form 1040 or 1040NR) when a taxpayer has moved and dies within the same calendar year. The personal representative filing on behalf of that taxpayer should complete and attach Form 3903 to the final return.
A personal representative can be an executor, administrator, or anyone who is in charge of the deceased person's property. For more information, see Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators.
taxmap/pubs/p521-000.htm#en_us_publink1000203489

Survivors of decedents who were working abroad.(p7)

rule
If you are the spouse or the dependent of a person whose main job location at the time of death was outside the United States, you can deduct moving expenses if the following five requirements are met.
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When a move begins.(p7)
A move begins when one of the following events occurs.