Moving expenses out of the country are generally NOT deductible and are taxable if paid by the company.- JOB HUNTING expenses -

Hi Gillian (and David!!),
I just got my tax forms from you-I'm so happy you're there again!  I have no idea exactly what my questions to David were and couldn't even trace them back in my "Sent" box!
At a guess, though, one would have been, is there anything deductible about getting a "new" car that cost a bit over $3,000 once it was repaired per CAA instructions?
The second is a new question for me.  I am job-hunting in the Pacific Northwest and am not sure which side of the border I might fetch up, pension/social security-wise, etc. I have been working in the U.S. for 8 years, so don't have enough points for probably another five years. Am I going to shoot myself in the foot if I accept any job offers from Canada, or am I actually better off there than here for the next few years?  I have, as you saw, a minute 401K and an equally minute superannuation in BC from working for the Provincial govt for several years. Clearly not even close to being able to retire before I'm 80 even if I knew what I was doing with money, which I don't-and don't have any to do it with, in any case!  So, is there anything I should consider before focusing my search on one side of the border or the other. Preference-wise, I'm leaning towards the Portland area for somewhere new to live, but I may not entirely have control over where the jobs and offers are.  What do you (plural) think?
Glad I get a refund, though-enough to pay off the credit cards, add a bit to the "moving fund" and then only have to focus on paying off the huge student line of credit (ugh!)  Maybe I'll go ahead and get that netbook I've been wanting, though! (Samsung NC10). It's hard drive is twice the size of my current laptop!
Hope you have some thoughts for me about the moving between countries thing-it's the kind of thing that's too complicated for my pea brain to figure out!
david ingram replies:
You are not the only one.  So many Canadians are being laid off in the US with their job loss problems that I have even be asked to write about it by Stockwell Day.
Job hunting expenses are deductible AS IN:
If you travel to an area to look for work in your current occupation or attend an interview you can generally deduct the ordinary and necessary travel costs. The purpose of the trip must be considered. Trips that are primarily personal are not deductible. For more information on how to compute your travel expenses, see Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gifts and Car Expense.
Some moving expenses are deductible. The following is from the site.
See form 3903 for an example of what you need.  Generally it is the cost of a moving company and travel costs and  lodging for you to get there.  Unlike Canada, the US does NOT allow the deduction of real estate commissions to sell your old house of meals on the way.
However, Canada does NOT allow moving in or out of the country in general and neither country allows moving expenses for exempted income.  So unless you are still a full time student who has just graduated in the US and  are moving back to Canada or a member of the armed forces, etc. your move to Canda would not be deductible.
A move to Seattle would be:
See form 3903 at:
Topic 455 - Moving Expenses
If you moved due to a change in your job or business location, or because you started a new job or business, you may be able to deduct your moving expenses. To qualify for the moving expense deduction, you must satisfy two tests. Under the first test, the "distance test", your new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job location was from your old home. If you had no previous workplace, your new job must be at least 50 miles from your old home. 
The second test is the "time test". If you are an employee, you must work full-time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months right after you arrive in the general area of your new job. If you are self-employed, you must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months and for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first 24 months after you arrive in the general area of your new work location. There are exceptions to the time test in case of death, disability and involuntary separation, among other things. 
If you are a member of the armed forces and your move was due to a permanent change of station, you do not have to satisfy the "distance or time tests". 
Moving expenses are figured on Form 3903 (PDF) and deducted as an adjustment to income on Form 1040 (PDF). You cannot deduct any moving expenses that were reimbursed by your employer. 
For more information on deductible moving expenses, please refer to Publication 521, Moving Expenses. 
To ensure your receiving Social Security in the future, you need 40 credits but you can transfer some of your Canadian years of working under CPP to the FICA calculation.
However, to get the full US MEDICARE benefits, you do need 40 credits (10 years) to qualify at the cheapest rates.  It is possible to get it with 28 31, 37, etc. credits but the fees are up to 3 times higher.
My advice would be for you to work the full 10 years before returning to Canada.  I think you have a green card and if so and you want to keep it, you MUST file form I-131 BEFORE you leave the USA.
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