Will I be able to expense an airline ticket as moving costs? Does it fall under the IRS’s definition of “reasonable expenses?”

by Carlo J. Silvesti, CPA | Nov 19, 2018

Q: My new employer will be deducting my moving costs and reimbursing me for the costs. However, for my flight I chose Business Select since it was only $30 more than the cheapest flight. Does this fall under the IRS's definition of "reasonable expenses?" If it doesn't, can I expense the cost of the cheaper flight, or am I not allowed to expense it at all?

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, reimbursed moving expenses are taxable to the employee. If flights are being reimbursed by your employer, it will be taxable to you. If it is not being reimbursed by your employer, you will not be allowed to deduct it because expenses for moving are no longer deductible. However, depending on the state in which you will be filing your state tax return, these expenses may be deductible. You will need to check your state’s tax rules.  

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Answered by: Carlo J. Silvesti, CPA, is an assistant professor of accounting at Gwynedd Mercy University in Gwynedd Valley, Pa.

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
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