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I recently changed jobs with my employer offering relocation assistance as part of the compensation package. I have up to a year to claim the relocation expenses, which consist of the usual items: home finding trips, temporary living expenses, final move, household goods transportation, etc. Some of these are treated as income that gets taxed and is, therefore, tax-assisted whereas others are not counted as income and, therefore, not tax-assisted.

I can claim as many of these as I incur throughout the year, or I can hold onto them and claim them all at the end--up to one year from my offer date.

There is a cut-off date to file claims for 2017. For any claims filed before this date, I will get paid in this calendar year and this will show up on my 2017 W-2; whereas any claims filed after this cut-off date will get paid in 2018 and will show up on my 2018 W-2.

What should I keep in mind before deciding whether to submit all applicable claims prior to the cut-off date vs. deferring these expense claims till 2018?

So far, I have only come up with the following:

  1. Any claims made in either year raises my income in that year, so I should be cautious of this if I'm close to entering the next tax bracket.
  2. Obviously, if I don't file the claim, I don't have the money available to me, and if I wait too long, I risk forgetting to submit the claim and losing out on the funds.

EDIT: Here are some examples of various items, not all of which are applicable nor approved for my specific instance:

                                 Added to W-2 Earnings/ Tax
Reimbursements                   Taxable Income         Assisted
-------------------------------- ---------------------- --------
Home search trip                 Income                 Yes
Temporary living expenses        Income                 Yes
Duplicate housing interest/taxes Income/Deductible      No
Duplicate housing utilities and  Income                 No
   maintenance
Buyer value option               Non Taxable/
                                    Non Reportable
Final move air transportation    Excludable             No
Household goods shipment         Excludable             No
  • 2
    Can you edit and country tag. It looks united-states. – Dheer Sep 25 '17 at 4:39
  • Aren't any of the claims tax-deductible? – Ganesh Sittampalam Sep 25 '17 at 4:54
  • Yes, I believe some of these are tax-deductible and it feels like I would be double dipping getting the assistance and then claiming it on my tax return, or it's expected and it all works out. I feel like this is part of the scope for this question. – jia103 Sep 26 '17 at 1:20

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