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Moving Expenses

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Deducting Moving Expenses

You can deduct your moving expenses if you meet ALL three of the following IRS tests:

  1. Your move is closely related to the start of your work.
    You can generally consider moving expenses incurred within one 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 do go to work.
  2. You meet the distance test.
    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.
  3. You meet the time test.
    You must adequately account to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable period of time.

Please see IRS publication 521 (Moving Expenses) for more detailed information.

What Can Be Deducted?

If you meet the above IRS tests, you can deduct the unreimbursed, reasonable expenses of:

  1. Moving your household goods and personal effects (including in-transit or foreign-move storage expenses), and
  2. Traveling (including lodging but NOT meals) to your new home. The actual expenses or standard mileage rate can be used for travel by car. Original receipts must be maintained to reimburse the actual expenses. If receipts are not available, the standard moving reimbursement rate will be used.

What Cannot Be Deducted?

A complete listing of non-deductible moving expenses may be found in IRS Publication 521. In general, moving expenses that are non-deductible include reimbursements for meals, house hunting trips, and real estate expenses. It also includes reimbursements that exceed your deductible expenses and that you do not return to the University of Florida. The University must include in your gross income as wages any reimbursements of, or payments for, nondeductible moving expenses in box 1 of your IRS Form W-2.

UF Reimbursement Procedures

The IRS Accountable Plan Rules are used for qualified moving expense reimbursements. To be an Accountable Plan, the IRS requires you to meet ALL three of the following rules:

  1. Your expenses must be of the type for which a deduction would be allowed had you paid them yourself. The reasonable expenses of moving your possessions from your former home to your new home and traveling from your former home to your new home are two examples.
  2. You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable period of time.

The standard mileage rate for moving reimbursements is as follows:

  • $0.170 Effective 01/01/2017-12/31/2017
  • $0.190 Effective 01/01/2016-12/31/2016
  • $0.230 Effective 01/01/2015-12/31/2015

Please see the IRS website for more information on mileage.

The IRS requires the University of Florida to withhold income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax from reimbursements and allowances paid to you that are included in your income. This is reported in box 1 of your IRS Form W-2. However, the University of Florida DOES NOT include in your wages reimbursements paid under the IRS Accountable Plan Rules for moving expenses that you:

  1. Could deduct if you had paid or incurred them, and
  2. Did not deduct in an earlier year.

These reimbursements are fringe benefits excludable from your income as qualified moving expense reimbursements. The University of Florida will report these reimbursements in box 12 of IRS Form W-2.

Send your moving expense documents to your department for approval. In turn, they will contact Finance and Accounting, University Payroll & Tax Services, for review and guidance.

IRS Definitions

Adequate Accounting: You adequately account for your moving expenses by giving your employer documentary evidence of those expenses, along with a statement of expense, an account book, a diary, or a similar record in which you entered each expense at or near the time you had it. Documentary evidence includes receipts, canceled checks, and bills.

Reasonable Period of Time: What constitutes a “reasonable period of time” depends on the facts and circumstances of your situation. However, regardless of those facts and circumstances, actions that take place within the time specified in the following list will be treated as taking place within a reasonable period of time.

  1. You receive an advance within 30 days of the time you have an expense.
  2. You adequately account for your expenses within 60 days after they were paid or incurred.
  3. You return any excess reimbursement within 120 days after the expense was paid or incurred.
  4. You are given a periodic statement (at least quarterly) that asks you to either return or adequately account for outstanding advances and you comply within 120 days of the statement.

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