Hi and welcome to Just Answer!You will be able to deduct your moving expenses in the year you actually move. Thus - if you move to California in Jan 2013 - you will claim deduction for moving expenses on your 2013 tax return.
When your employer will pay you for relocation - such payment is generally reported as your wages and will be taxed based on when paid. Thus - if such payment will be made on Dec 31, 2012 - it will be taxable on your 2012 tax return.Asking the mover to pick up your household items in Texas on Dec 31 would not affect deduction of your moving expenses - which will be based on when you personally will arrive at destination. Only if you move California - for instance - on Dec 16, 2012 - you will claim your moving expenses on 2012 tax return.If you have a choice to move either in 2012 or in 2013 - you might better to choose the year in which your income is higher.
Lev, thanks for the answer. I forgot to mention 1 thing before.
My employer in Texas and California is the same. My employer will transfer my pay roll to California on Dec 16. I plan to be california for house huting trip Dec 15 to 23 and spend some time in the California. I will stay in Texas from Dec 23 to early Jan 2013. I will officially move to California in Jan 2013. In this situation, am I counted moving to California on Dec 16 or Jan 2013?
Yes - for moving expenses deduction purposes - you are considered as moved to the destination - when you physically arrive there. If you physically arrive to California on Dec 16, 2012 - you will claim your moving expenses on 2012 tax return.