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

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.  

For more resources, check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator.

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

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