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In the USA in 2014, my moving expense reimbursement met the qualifications for an Accountable Plan, (Pub 512), but my new employer taxed my reimbursement and took the tax out of my paycheck. They also reported this amount in box 1 of my W-2, and not in box 12. This must mean that it was taxed as a Non-accountable Plan, I believe. Since my reimbursement was taxed, I did not receive the full amount of my reimbursement. My employer told me that I would receive the remaining amount as a refund when I filed my taxes.

I have 2 questions:

  1. Will I receive the taxed amount of my reimbursement as a refund?

  2. Will I, in the end, receive more, less, or the same amount because it was filed as Non-accountable instead of accountable?

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Will I receive the taxed amount of my reimbursement as a refund?

Not exactly.

Will I, in the end, receive more, less, or the same amount because it was filed as Non-accountable instead of accountable?

If all the expenses were qualified, you'll end up with a wash.

What happened is this:

You spent X on the qualified moving expenses.
You received X as a bonus (taxable one-time payment) from your employer

In your tax return you'll deduct the qualified moving expenses (See the IRS pub 521 and form 3903 for details). Your taxable income will be reduced by this deduction and you'll pay less taxes.

You'll also declare the additional bonus of X as income which is taxable to you.

The deduction and the additional income will cancel each other out, assuming all your moving expenses you were reimbursed for are qualified.

So the bottom line, as I said above, is a wash. As to the first question, the taxed amount will be added to the overall tax paid for the year, and refund will be the difference between the overall tax paid and the overall tax liability. However, on the bonus you also paid FICA taxes, which will not be refunded.

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