Gathering Documents a Pain, But It Sure Pays Off!

I was so glad to hear from Russ, in response to last week’s blog. He shared that he had read my book; realized he missed claiming moving expenses and then adjusted his prior filed returns. To his delight, he received a $6600 refund – found money!  Good for you Russ!

This is just one real-life example of the thousands of dollars average taxpayers can miss because they just don’t know about all their tax deductions.

Moving expenses are particularly lucrative, because they include big ticket items like real estate commissions, removal expenses, legal fees to purchase your new home, but only if you had owned a home in the old location. Also eligible are the costs of transportation to the new work or business location and even the costs of staying up to 15 days in temporary living accommodations, like a hotel, for instance, while waiting for the new home to become available.

You must move at least 40 kilometers closer to the new work or business location, so if you are retiring to the west coast, for example, you won’t be able to claim these costs against pension or investment income. You must have actively earned income at the new location.

In the case of students, moving expenses can be claimed if you are studying full time at the new location, but only against taxable scholarships, bursaries or other prizes or income from employment or self-employment.

Moving expenses cannot be carried back, but they can be carried forward, and in the case of spouses, can be claimed on either return.

It’s Your Money. Your Life. It can be extremely profitable to become more interested in your personal tax affairs, as Russ found out. Even if you don’t intend to file your own tax return, the more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to gather the right information for your tax professional and ask better questions, too. So don’t be afraid to pick up your copy of Jacks on Tax or drop in now to review documentation requirements for 2013 with your tax accountant if you are not sure. Now is good time ;).

Evelyn Jacks is president of Knowledge Bureau and author of 51 books on tax and personal wealth management. Her newest book Jacks on Tax: 2014 Edition is now available. She is also the founder and director of the Distinguished Advisor Conference (DAC). The theme of the 2014 three day think tank in Horseshoe Bay, Texas Nov 9-12 will be “Think BIG: Find the Sweet Spots in Wealth Management”  Follow Evelyn on Twitter at @EvelynJacks.

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