saving money

The Tax Deduction I Wish I’d Known About Before Moving

February 21, 2017
The Student Tax Deduction I Missed

For years, my parents did my taxes along with theirs. The control freak inside of me was not a huge fan of this, but it did save me some time. So I went along with it, assuming that I was always getting the most money back every year.

Fast forward to 2016 when my parents handed me the torch of submitting my own taxes. Exciting, right? So, for the first time ever, I scrolled through every possible tax deduction. I asked myself, “can I claim this?” for just about everything. I didn’t want any money left on the table.

And there it was.

Line 219 – Moving expenses

According to the CRA website,

You can claim eligible moving expenses if:

you moved and established a new home to work or run a business at a new location; or

you moved to be a student in full-time attendance in a post-secondary program at a university, college or other educational institution.

*The US equivalent of Line 219 is Topic 455. It counts toward moving expenses for work, but not for education. 

They say that as long as you’re moving at least 40 kilometres away from your home for work or for university, you can claim moving expenses on your taxes. This counts expenses things like movers, temporary housing, costs incurred by ending your lease or selling your home, the cost of setting up utilities at a new location, and the list goes on. You can even claim expenses if you’re a freelancer or moving to start your own business.

“You can claim moving expenses you incur at the beginning of each academic period as long as you meet the 40-kilometre requirement and you have earned income at your new work location.” – CRA

Let me take a step back for a moment and give an overview of my university experience.

One cross-country move to start university

One cross-country move for an internship

One cross-country move back to university

One overseas move for grad school

But I didn’t know. So I didn’t claim my moving expenses.

Long story short, I spent a lot of money on a lot of moves and got none of it back. Learn from my mistake and keep track of your expenditures the next time you get transferred for work, move for university or college, or move for your own business. You just might save money on next year’s tax return!

Disclaimer: I’m not a financial professional, just someone who made a discovery and did some research. Speak with your financial planner about how to best complete your tax return.

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