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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.

Read this post in Spanish.

How to Report Tips Related to the Boston Explosions

Monday afternoon, two explosive devices detonated in Boston. Three people were killed and more than 150 people were wounded.

If you have any information or visual images related to the explosions, please contact the FBI by e-mailing boston@ic.fbi.gov or calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (prompt #3). No piece of information or detail is too small.

Get FBI updates on the investigation.

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Top FTC Complaints

Rank Category № of Complaints Percentage
1Identity Theft250,85419%
2Debt Collection144,15911%
3Internet Services65,5655%
4Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries64,0855%
5Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales60,2054%
6Imposter Scams60,1584%
7Internet Auctions56,1074%
8Foreign Money/Counterfeit Check Scams43,8663%
9Telephone and Mobile Services37,3883%
10Credit Cards33,2582%

Each year the Federal Trade Commission shares the list of the most common consumer complaints the agency receives.

For the 11th year in a row, identity theft has been the number one complaint.

You can read the full report (PDF) for more details on the complaints.

How to Safely Donate to Disaster Relief

Dept. of Defense photo of U.S. military members helping Japanese citizens clean up a park in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami.

Many places are taking donations to help the disaster relief efforts in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami that took place on March 11. As donations to help the victims flow in, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) warns that con-artists are quick to try and scam generous givers.

Here are some tips from the IC3 to help you avoid becoming a scam victim:

  • Check to see if the charity is legitimate by visiting their website directly. Don’t use any questionable links you may have been sent.
  • Verify that the charity of your choice is a non-profit organization that will use your donation to help the cause.
  • Do not give out your personal or financial information to anyone soliciting contributions, or you could become a victim of identity theft. 

More tips for safe donating.

If you are looking to donate to the disaster relief efforts going on in Japan, use the tools recommended by the Federal Trade Commission to research your charity of choice.