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Tax Season Tip Sheet for RVers: Can You Claim Deductions for Your Used RVs?

It’s tax season. Just like every other tax payer, RV lovers everywhere are currently considering their income, their expenses, their documentation, their work expenses, and how to make sure that they accurately file their taxes for maximum returns/minimal taxes due. Before filing, RV owners should consider how RVing could possibly benefit them this tax season.

Tax Season Tip Sheet for RVers:

  1. Don’t procrastinate:  Waiting until the last minute to prepare and file your taxes often leads to mistakes that could be costly. The April 15th, 2013 deadline is quickly approaching. Taxpayers who still need to file their taxes should move quickly to determine their RV’s potential for qualifying as a second home.
  2.  Does your RV Qualify as a “Second Home?”  If an RV qualifies as a second home, the RV owner can claim a tax deduction of interest on their RV loan as “second home mortgage interest.” The IRS has certain qualifications in place that RV owners should consider including: the RV must be used as security on the RV loan, the RV must have basic sleeping, cooking and toilet facilities, the RV must be rented out less than 15 days/year, interest expense deductions for your used RVs must exceed the standard deduction.
  3.  Types of RVs that can Qualify:   The majority of recreational vehicle types (motorhomes, travel trailers, truck campers, many folding camping trailers, etc.) are equipped with the facilities that are required for qualification.
  4. IRS Codes Related to Potential Deduction of the Used RV’s Loan Interest: According to IRS code section 280A(f)(1), an RV with full facilities can qualify as a “dwelling unit.” The U.S. tax court case of Haberkorn v. Commissioner, 75 T.C. 259 (filed on November 12, 1980) gives further guidance on the issue of potential tax deductions related to RVs and tax deductibility of RV loan interest as “second home mortgage interest.” A taxpayer cannot claim the interest from more than two qualified homes on their tax returns.

This tip sheet is a good place to start for general guidance, but for further details, discuss the specifics with your tax professional.

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