Are You Eligible to Claim Moving Expenses in Canada?

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Can You Claim Your Moving Expenses?

You may be surprised to learn that you can claim moving expenses on your tax return. You can claim meals, vehicle, cost of hiring movers and many other expenses if you meet certain eligibility criteria.

You can claim eligible moving expenses if :

  • You are moving to a new home to work or to run a business out of a new location OR
  • You are moving to be a student in full-time attendance in a post-secondary program at a university, college, or other educational institution AND
  • You are moving at least 40 kilometres from your current residence
Couple celebrating on the floor of their new home with champagne and pizza

You  may have more to celebrate in your new home if you can claim your moving expenses

You can claim the cost of hiring movers, meals, gas, temporary accommodation and much more.

What Moving Expenses Can You Claim?

If your move qualifies, the government will allow you to claim moving expenses on your tax return. Canada allows a lot of  expenses associated with your move can be claimed. Reimbursements include:

  • Transportation and storage costs (such as packing, hauling, movers, in-transit storage, and insurance) for household items, including boats and trailers
  • Reasonable travel costs, such as meals, lodging, airfare or automobile mileage for you and your family. 
  • Temporary living expenses for up to 15 days near your old or new home. handy if the house or apartment you're moving into isn't ready at the time of your move.
  • If you're a renter you can claim the cost of cancelling your lease at your former residence.
  • If you own your home you can claim the cost of selling your former residence, including legal fees, real estate commissions and mortgage discharge penalty fees.
  • Legal fees incurred to purchase a new home.
  • Incidental costs related to your move such as utility hook-ups or disconnections

You could get $2456 in gas expenses reimbursed moving from Vancouver to Toronto

How Much Can You Claim?

You should keep receipts for all of the moving expenses you incur, in case you are asked to back up your claim. However, there are two types of simplifies claims you can log without paperwork: meals and vehicle expenses.

The simplified vehicle claim is based on a flat per-kilometer rate, as long as the vehicle you drive is your own.

You use the rate that applies in the province you are leaving. If you are driving from Vancouver to Toronto you use British Columbia’s reimbursement rate. The rate changes each year, but for illustration purposes at the current rate of 56.0 cents/kilometre. You could claim $2456 for the 4389KM drive.

The flat rate for meals is currently $23 per meal, to a maximum of $69 per day per person. For a family of four making the 4-day drive from Vancouver to Toronto, that adds up to a $1104 reimbursement. If your meal costs exceed $69 a day, hang on to your receipts and claim the actual amount you spent on your tax return.

Also, if you move before you old house is sold you may be able to claim maintenance costs, including mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance and utilities, to a maximum of $5,000. To qualify, your house must empty and marketed for sale.

That’s a lot of potential savings on your move and it may allow you to hire movers to do the heavy lifting for you at no or low cost.

For the latest eligibility requirements , valid deductions and calculations for claiming moving expenses on taxes, visit Revenue Canada

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