Are my Moving Expenses Tax Deductible?

Come spring time, people all over North America are scrambling to have their income taxes prepared and either receive a nice return or pay the piper for the privilege of living in civilized community. Canadians, of course, are no exception and like other people we look for anything we can to increase our return or decrease the amount of money we owe the government. In this article, we will take a look at the question of moving expenses; is the money you spent on a move one that you can deduct from your overall income in order to pay less tax?

Who is it that can claim moving expenses?

The answer is a qualified yes. Qualified, because only certain groups of people can qualify to deduct their moving expenses from their income tax. These two groups include:

Employees and Self-employed people who work from home. Because your home is also your office, you may deduct moving expenses from your income taxes if you operate a business from your home.
Students. Students who have to move in order to attend school may also deduct moving expenses from their income tax statements.

It is important to note that even if you do fall into one of these two groups, you still may not qualify to deduct your moving expenses from your income tax. For example, you may only qualify if you move to within forty kilometres of your place of work in both cases. Additionally, the exemptions often only qualify for people who are moving from one location within Canada to another.

What can you claim as “moving expenses”?

The great thing about deducting moving expenses is the variety of situations that can be deducted under this rule. A quick rundown of the list will help to refresh your memory, but these are just some of the expenses you will probably incur in a move:

Hotel fees

Mover’s fees

Cost of gas or truck rental

Food

It is also important to understand that the expenses you deduct only qualify for the move itself. You cannot, for instance, deduct expenses incurred while you were job or house hunting, or those incurred trying to sell your own home.

The best advice is to speak with an income tax preparer, just to be sure that you are eligible to claim this deduction, and to be sure that you have everything you need to back up this claim just in case you are audited.