Job Relocation: Moving for a New Job
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Congratulations on moving on — and up. But relocating for a dream job can be as daunting as it is thrilling.

Here are a few tips to help you take relocation hurdles in stride when moving to another city or state.

1. Use Professional Movers

If you’re lucky, your new company will pay your relocation expenses. If not, you may be eligible for federal and state income tax deductions for non-reimbursed, job-related moving expenses, regardless of whether you itemize. Deductions may include movers’ fees, car shippers, personal travel, and lodging (though not meals) en route to your new city. So keep all your receipts. Find federal rules and forms at irs.gov and your new state’s details at taxadmin.org.

If you plan to use professional movers, read the contract’s fine print before you seal the deal, and make sure that you understand and are comfortable with all terms and conditions. If you’re moving across state lines, some movers will add extra fees and charge for overnight storage.

2. Find the Right School

If you have children and are relocating to a new city or state, you have the added task of finding the right school for them. If you don’t have a network of friends or family members in your new city, narrowing the school choice often can be done on the Internet. As you visit your new city and begin looking for a place to rent or buy, also visit area schools.

Talk to school principals about class size, strengths, and weaknesses to help narrow your search. If you plan to send your children to public school, school zones may be the deciding factor on where you choose to reside. With private schools, you can live in any nearby community, although bus service may not be an option.

Once you decide on a school, enroll your children and make sure all records from their previous school have transferred successfully. This may be done electronically, by mail, or in person if you have a copy of their school transcripts.

3. Understand Your State Income Taxes

If you move to a new state, you may need to report the income you earned in both your previous and current states by filing tax returns in each state. The good news: For state tax purposes, you’ll only be taxed once on the income earned in each state. Residency definitions vary by state, but in many cases wages will be taxed in the state where you worked more than six months. Sometimes you may receive a tax credit or refund for income tax withheld in another state, although you may have to file as a part-year or non-resident in the state in which you’ve lived less time. 

Keep in mind that if you earn income from selling or renting property in subsequent years, you’ll have to file income taxes in the state the property is located in, as well. Find forms via taxadmin.org.

4. Update Your Car Insurance, Driver’s License, and Registration

Look up your new state’s rules at dmv.org to make sure you meet registration and emission testing deadlines for relocated vehicles. This will help you avoid any unexpected tickets and fines.

Check with your current car insurance carrier to ensure they do business in your new state — and that your insurance agent is licensed there. Because agents are licensed by state, you may need a new agent even if your insurance company remains the same.

You might also compare quotes from other carriers, as car insurance rates may rise or fall when moving to a new state. You can expect some savings if you have a shorter work commute or your new ZIP code has less traffic, fewer claims, and lower uninsured motorist rates.

Whatever path you choose, it’s important to make sure your new policy is in place before your old policy is cancelled. Otherwise, you run the risk of being uninsured, and your rates may be adversely affected too.

5. Contact Your Utility Companies

Promptly notify each of your utilities, including electricity, gas, cable, and water, of your service cut-off and start dates to avoid double billing. You may also have to contact your utility company after your final billing cycle to see if you have a final balance, as not all utilities will forward your bills to a new state.

With these logistical barriers out of the way, you can savor your fresh start and focus on your new job opportunity.

Check out our Moving Checklist: A Comprehensive Guide to Relocating to help identify key responsibilities when relocating.

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This information is general in nature and is provided for educational purposes only. Regions makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information presented. Information provided should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal, or tax advice. Regions encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.