Tue. May 11th, 2021


I have recently resigned as pastor of a church and will be moving over 500 miles to another church. What are the rules for moving expenses? Can I claim these on my tax return?

According to the regulations, you can deduct a portion of your moving expenses incurred because of a change of jobs, or your acceptance of a new job. You must meet certain conditions.

  1. 1. Your move must be closely related to the start of work at your new job regarding time and place. Generally, moving expenses incurred within one year from the date you reported to work are considered closely related in time.
  2. Your new job must be at least 50 miles from your former home. For example, if the old job was three miles from your former home, your new job must be at least 53 miles from that home.
  3. For the time test, you must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after you arrived in the general area of your new job location. This can be with more than one employer. If you are married and file a joint return and both you and your spouse work full time, either of you may satisfy the full-time work test, but you cannot combine your weeks of work.

Moving expenses include moving your household goods and personal effects which includes the cost of packing, crating, and transporting the goods and personal effects from the former home to the new home. Storage for 30 days after the move is completed is also considered a moving expense.

You can also deduct the cost of transportation and lodging (but not meals) for yourself and members of your family while traveling from the former to the new home.

Aubrey L Jayroe is an Accredited Tax Advisor, Accredited Tax Preparer and Enrolled Agent by the IRS, as well as a former Apostolic pastor. Contact him at: (870) 633-6045. Jayroe & Company, PO Box 1217, Forrest City, AR 72336. Email: jayroeone@sbcglobal.net

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