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If you were planning on moving this year to take a new position with a new company or even a new position within your current employer, the moving process just got a little more expensive.  Prior to the tax law changes that took effect January 1, 2018, companies would often offer new employees a “relocation package” or “moving expense reimbursements” to help subsidize the cost of making the move.   From a tax standpoint, it was great benefit because those reimbursements were not taxable to the employee.  Unfortunately that tax benefit has disappeared in 2018 as a result of tax reform.

 

Taxable To The Employee

 

Starting in 2018, moving expense reimbursements paid to employee will now represent taxable income.     Due to the change in the tax treatment, employees may need to negotiate a higher expense reimbursement rate knowing that any amount paid to them from the company will represent taxable income.

 

For example, let’s say you plan to move from New York to California to start a new career.  You estimate that your moving expense will be around $5,000.  In 2017, your new employer would have had to pay you $5,000 to fully reimburse you for the moving expense.  In 2018, assuming you are in the 35% tax bracket, that same employer would need to provide you with $6,750 to fully reimburse you for your moving expenses because you are going to have to pay income tax on the reimbursement amount.

 

Increased Expense To The Employer

 

For companies that attract new talent from all over the United States, this will be an added expense for them in 2018.   Many companies limit full moving expense reimbursement to executives.  Coincidentally, employees at the executive level are usually that highest paid.  Higher pay equals higher tax brackets.  If you total up the company’s moving expense reimbursements paid to key employees in 2017 and then add another 40% to that number to compensate your employees for the tax hit, it could be a good size number.

 

Eliminated From Miscellaneous Deductions

 

As an employee, if your employer did not reimburse you for your moving expenses and you had to move at least 50 miles to obtain that position, prior to 2018, you were allowed to deduct those expenses when you filed your taxes and you were not required to itemize to capture the deduction.   However, this expense will no longer be deductible even for employees that are not reimbursed by their employer for the move starting in 2018.

 

Michael Ruger

About Michael………

Hi, I’m Michael Ruger. I’m the managing partner of Greenbush Financial Group and the creator of the nationally recognized Money Smart Board blog . I created the blog because there are a lot of events in life that require important financial decisions. The goal is to help our readers avoid big financial missteps, discover financial solutions that they were not aware of, and to optimize their financial future.

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