Income Tax Write-Offs for Moving Expenses and Real Estate Commissions

Posted by Justin Havre. on Friday, May 9th, 2014 at 8:01am.

There's a special line on the income tax form that you fill out every year that allows you to claim moving expenses. Most people in Canada aren't aware that a lot of moving expenses and real estate commissions can be deducted in certain cases. If you are moving and establishing a new home, and it will be closer to your new educational institution or work by 40 km or more, you may qualify. Other qualifying factors include:

  • You are moving to carry on employment or to be employed at a new location
  • You are moving to study full time as a student at a post-secondary education facility such as a university, college etc.
  • The 40 km must be the usual and shortest public route to the new workplace or educational institution.

Allowable expenses that can be deducted

If you qualify, a reasonable amount can be claimed for moving your family, yourself and household items to the new location. Some of the moving expenses that may be claimed include:

Storage and transportation costs - This includes the costs for movers and in-transit insurance and storage.

Real estate commissions - The costs that you incur to sell your residence such as commissions, legal fees, a mortgage penalty and advertising expenses may be deducted.

Travel expenses - This may include meals, vehicle expenses and any accommodations required to move the household members to the new home. Temporary living costs for up to 15 days may be deducted.

Incidental costs - These expenses may include legal document address changes, disconnections and hookups of utilities and replacing a driver’s license.

Maintaining your old residence - You may also qualify for a maximum amount of $5,000 for costs to maintain the home you are trying to sell. These expenses may include property taxes, interest, insurance premiums, and expenses for utilities and heat.

If you qualify for any of these expenses, you may be able to deduct thousands of dollars on your next income tax return. You can find out more information by visiting the Canada Revenue Agency website. You should also talk to your accountant or tax lawyer and remember to keep any and all receipts associated with your move and real estate expenses if you do qualify.

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