Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/moving tax deduction


QUESTION: I am moving from Arkansas to Tennessee to start a new job (in the same field). I know I have to satisfy the distance and time test which I will do, but I have a question about what specifically I can deduct and when I can deduct the moving expenses.

I am having to store my stuff while I have a house built in the new location. I think the timing is going to work out that I will pay a portion of the moving costs (deposit plus supplies) in December 2012 and the remaining in January 2013, so can I choose when to deduct all of the expenses? Can I deduct it all on my 2012 taxes, all on my 2013, or do I deduct it on each year's taxes based on when I actually incur the costs?

As far as what can I deduct - I read that you can deduct costs to move your stuff and yourself, so I'm assuming that means you can deduct the mileage when you drive to the new location. My question is, I am making several trips back and forth to Tennessee to take stuff I need while the house is being built. Can I deduct each of those trips or just one? I will also have to pay for several months of storage while the house is being built. Are the storage fees deductible or just the expenses to get the stuff there?

Thank you,

ANSWER: Susan,

Thanks for your question.

You must deduct the moving expenses in the year in which they are incurred, unless your employer reimburses you.  

You can deduct mileage at the rate of 23 cents a mile for 2012, 24 cents for 2013.  You can deduct mileage for one trip per person.  Storage costs are deductible for up to 30 days. And, as you mentioned, you can deduct the costs of moving your belongings.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the quick response. Just to clarify, if I am supposed to deduct the expenses in the year incurred, since I am moving so close to year end, is it okay to deduct some expenses on my 2012 return and some on 2013 return since the expenses will be incurred over both tax years? Just want to make sure that if I deduct some of the expenses in 2012, that doesn't disqualify me from deducting the remaining expenses in 2013.

Thnak you,

That is correct.  The IRS may question it, but just reply to them that it was one move with expenses incurred in both years. If there is a way to defer paying any expenses until 2012, it would simplify matters.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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