Job Relocation: Moving for a New Job

Congratulations on moving on — and up — in your career. A new job is exciting, but relocating for a dream job can be difficult.

Whether you’re moving to a new city or state, here are a few tips to help your relocation go smoothly.

1. Use Professional Movers

Hiring a moving company can save you time and back pain, but be sure to read the contract’s fine print so you are comfortable with the terms and conditions before hiring the company to make the big move. If you’re moving across state lines, some movers will add extra fees and charge for overnight storage.

If you find yourself paying out of pocket for extra fees and charges, you may be eligible for federal and state income tax deductions for nonreimbursed, job-related moving expenses. Deductions may include mover’s fees, car shipping, personal travel, and lodging (not including meals) as you make the transition to your new city. Make sure to keep all of your receipts.

Visit the Internal Revenue Service for federal rules and forms and the Federation of Tax Administrators for state-specific details.

2. Find the Right School

If you have children, you have the added task of finding the right school for them. If you don’t have a network of friends or family members to guide you, the internet is a useful tool for narrowing your search. While you’re narrowing down your new home options, try to visit local schools as well.

Have an idea of what you’re looking for in terms of academics, class sizes, and extracurricular activities, and discuss them with school officials. If you plan to send your children to public school, school zones may be the deciding factor on where you choose to live. 

Once you decide on a school, enroll your children and work with their previous school to make sure all records and transcripts transfer successfully. 

3. Understand Your State Income Taxes

If you move to a new state, you may need to file tax returns in both states. 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 states where you worked more than six months. 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 resident or nonresident in the state in which you’ve lived for 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 in which the property is located, as well. Find forms on the Federation of Tax Administrators website.

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

Before hitting the road, make sure your car meets registration and emission testing deadlines for relocated vehicles to avoid any unexpected tickets and fines.

It’s also important to revise your car insurance policy to ensure that your carrier can provide coverage in your new state — and that your insurance agent is legally licensed by your new state’s requirements. Because agents are licensed by state, you may need a new agent even if your insurance company remains the same.

You might also want to compare quotes from other insurance providers, as car insurance rates may change when moving to a new state. You can expect some savings if you have a shorter work commute or your new location has less traffic, fewer claims, and lower rates of uninsured motorists.

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

5. Contact Your Utility Companies

Promptly notify each of your utility providers — including electricity, gas, cable, and water — of your service cutoff and start dates to avoid double billing. Make a point of following up with 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.

Ready for your big move? Be sure to check off all the items in this moving checklist to manage key responsibilities when relocating to guarantee that no box gets left behind.


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This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.