Movin’ On Up Becomes More Expensive

Movin’ On Up was the theme song for The Jeffersons,* which was a 1970s sitcom that celebrated George and Louise Jefferson’s move to a deluxe apartment in the sky.  Movin’ on up just became more expensive in 2018 after the changes included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “TCJA”).   First, the TCJA suspends the individual deduction for moving expenses for the taxable years from 2018 through 2025.  Also, if an employer reimburses the moving expenses, the TCJA suspends the employee income tax exclusion of the reimbursement for the same period.  The moving expense reimbursement continues to be deductible by the employer, but it will now be taxable to the employee.

The change applies as of January 1, 2018.  Under that effective date, it appears that any reimbursement in 2018 will be taxable even if it applies to a move that occurred in 2017.  That seems unfair to individuals who may have incurred moving expenses in late 2017 and have not had time to process an employer reimbursement.  But, that seems to be the result unless later guidance provides a less onerous transition rule.

"Louise Jefferson: Lionel, you'd better go to your room. I don't want you to get hit by your father.

Lionel Jefferson: Why would Dad hit me?

Louise Jefferson: Because I'm not sure just where I'm going to throw him!"

The Jeffersons

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