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A Helpful Guide to Moving

If you plan to move, planning ahead can save you time and money.

Things like packing and finding a reliable moving company are just some of the ways you can avoid problems. And, depending on your situation, you may be able to deduct moving expenses from your federal tax return.

When you’re ready to move, make sure to keep these tips in mind:

Packing

  • Instead of packing what you don’t use anymore, sell anything you don’t need. You can also donate clothes or household items that are in good condition to charity.
  • Use recycled packing boxes. Look for unused boxes at local stores or supermarkets. Save the boxes if you have a moving date ahead.
  • Write on the box what it contains, for example: kitchen utensils, bathroom towels, tools, cosmetics, etc. This will make it easier to unpack in your new home.
  • Use newspaper to wrap any fragile or delicate items.

Choosing a moving company

  • Request written quotes from various moving companies so that you can compare rates and services.
  • Make sure to pick a moving company that has a number with the U.S. Department of Transportation, known as U.S. DOT #, and check if the mover is properly registered.
  • Make sure the company offers damage insurance.
  • Check to see if the moving company has a history of complaints by calling your state or city’s consumer protection office.
  • Thoroughly read over all the terms in your contract, as well as any other documents related to your move, before signing.

Note: If you would like to register a complaint against a moving company, get in touch with the Department of Transportation at 1-888-368-7238, or file it online.

When filing your taxes

If your move this summer is work-related, you may be able to deduct moving expenses on your next federal income tax return if you meet certain requirements:

  • You move close to the date you begin your new job.
  • Your new workplace is at least 50 miles farther away from your previous home than your old job location was from that home.
  • You work full-time for a specified amount of time after moving.

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Take the Stress Out of Your Move

Between packing boxes, hiring movers, and unpacking everything in your new house, you have enough on your mind when you’re moving. You don’t want to have to worry about minor annoyances like remembering all the places you need to change your address or more serious concerns like dealing with moving fraud. These tips can help take some of the stress out of your move.

Use this moving checklist from the U.S. Department of Transportation so you won’t miss anything important like checking out your movers with the Better Business Bureau and making an inventory of what’s in your boxes, so you make sure everything gets delivered.

Know your rights before you select a mover and understand any documentation you might be asked to sign. That way you’ll know what to do if there’s a problem like your possessions getting lost or damaged. If you’re moving between states, you may be eligible for liability options from your movers to ensure that your property stays safe.

Find all the forms in one place on USA.gov that you’ll need to report your change of address to continue getting your mail and any government benefits you receive. You’ll find the post office change of address form, along with additional forms you might need for the Social Security Administration, Veteran’s Administration, the IRS and your state’s voter registration office.

Learn if you can claim your moving expenses on your tax forms. If you moved for a job or because you started a new business, you may be able to deduct some of your moving expenses. Find out if you meet the qualifications from the IRS.

Use these tips to choose the right moving company and protect your belongings. 

Make sure you continue to receive mail and any government benefits at your new location.