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I will be moving for a job shortly, and my new employer is reimbursing the costs. If I understand correctly the reimbursement is taxable, but most of it is deductible. If all of it were deductible there would be no net change to my income taxes. However some things are reimbursable but not deductible, for example meals during my move. I'm confused because currently, if for example my employer sends me to a conference, my meals are reimbursed and this amount isn't reported on my taxes. What's the difference? Or am I misunderstanding something?

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    when your employer sends you to a conference all the expenses are for the benefit of the business. When your employer pays for your move, those expenses are for the benefit of you - the company pays them as a way of hiring you, but not because it will realize a gain from it. (You may retort that some conferences are just glorified vacations and ways to reward employees while dodging taxes but that doesn't change the intent of the rule.) – Kate Gregory Sep 24 '14 at 18:19
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Some reimbursements are taxable and some are not, that depends on the type of reimbursement and the reporting required.

If the reimbursement is from an accountable plan and for qualified expenses - it is not taxable. Otherwise it is.

See the relevant section of IRS Publication 521 for details.

  • So it possible that from the same employer, for example, meals while moving is a taxable reimbursement while meals while attending a conference is a non-taxable reimbursement? – Craig W Sep 24 '14 at 21:14
  • @CraigW definitely. The non-taxable items will be reported with code P on your W2. – littleadv Sep 25 '14 at 3:04

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