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:
- 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.
- 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