What is the 50 mile distance test?
There are two tests you must meet in order to be entitled to deduct your job-related moving expenses. One of these tests is the 50 mile distance test, which says that you can deduct your moving expenses if the distance between your new job and your old home is at least 50 miles more than the distance between your old job and your old home. If you did not have a former job (you were unemployed for a substantial amount of time, or this is your first job ever), this distance test is met if the job you started is located at least 50 miles from your old home.
As you can see, the location of your new home does not generally matter - rather, the focus is on the location of your old home and both jobs. However, there is one way that your new home’s location does come into the calculation, which is if the distance between your new home and your new job is actually greater than the distance between your old home and your new job. In that situation, your claim for moving expenses could be disallowed, and you should only take the deduction if you can show either: (i) that a condition of your new employment is that you live in the location of your new home; or (ii) that there was a decrease in your commuting time or travel expenses.
The other test you must meet in order to be entitled to deduct your job-related moving expenses is the time test (39 weeks or 78 weeks, depending on your employment status).