Can you write off your motorhome on taxes?
As remote work becomes more sustainable and people increasingly consider the RV travel lifestyle, the question arises can you write off your motorhome on taxes? Or deduct your RV or camper van on your taxes?
The information contained in this post is provided for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor should it be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. You should seek legal or other professional advice for tax matters for answers specific to your situation.
First off, whether you can get any home or business tax advantages related to your RV, Motorhome, or Camper Van life may depend on where you claim permanent residency, your citizenship, and/or where you’ve registered your vehicle. Obviously, the tax laws vary between countries. For example, the US tax code is not the same, as say, the tax rules in Australia.
Also, if you are serious about living the RV life or are thinking about selling everything you have to live the travel lifestyle, and need to know the tax consequences of this lifestyle, you should consult a tax professional or lawyer who can discuss the specifics of your unique situation.
Is a Motorhome an Investment Property that Appreciates with Time?
Generally speaking, a motorhome, RV, fifth wheel, or camper van is not considered the same as investment property. These rigs all depreciate in value, like an ordinary vehicle does. A camping vehicle isn’t going to appreciate or gain value with time, like a house or other property generally does.
Depreciation is one of the reasons some people opt to buy a used motorhome. Compare buying a new motorhome to buying an ordinary new vehicle. A brand new car loses value immediately after you buy it and drive out of a dealer’s lot, and then continues to lose some of its value every year that follows. The same idea generally applies to new motorhomes. You will never fully recoup that original, brand new lot sticker price once you’ve bought it.
READ MORE: If you are looking to buy a motorhome, especially if you are a woman, you might enjoy reading Sexism on the Lot: Adventures in RV Shopping.
Can a Motorhome Be a Tax Write-Off?
- Can you write off your RV, motorhome, or Camper Van as a second home?
- If you are working remotely, temporarily or full-time, in your RV, motorhome, or Camper Van, can you write off office space?
- Are you eligible for tax benefits or write-offs if you use your RV, motorhome, or Camper Van as a business?
- What types of write-offs or deducts can you get if you live or work in your house on wheels?
Ways You Might Save Money on Your Taxes with an RV for Home or Business
- If you’re a full-time RVer or living a full-time camper van life, you might be able to claim your rig as your primary residence and reap tax benefits from that situation, such as the home loan interest deduction. According to Camping World, IRS Publication 936 gives this primary residence situation the green light when it comes to tax advantages. You’ll have to make sure that your home on wheels qualifies and meets IRS criteria;
- Interest paid or sales tax on your RV loan might offer tax deductions;
- If you use your RV solely for business, you might benefit from business tax deductions;
- You might also qualify for business tax deductions if you use your RV, motorhome, or camper van for business part of the year;
- If you rent out your rig part of the tax year as part of your business activities, you might possibly be entitled to tax deductions;
- An RV might also confer “second home” tax deductions.
Keep Good Records
As with anything tax related, if you live or work in your RV, you’ll want to keep good records. This way, you’ll be more likely to have the information you need should you decide to claim any deductions or tax advantages come tax time. For example, among the documents you may want to keep:
- Sales documents, includes sales tax documentation, as applicable to your state
- Bank documents, including monthly vehicle payments
- Registration documents, as applicable to your vehicle and state of registration
- Travel expenses and receipts, including gas receipts, campground charges, camping club membership invoices
- Keep business and personal records separate, whenever and wherever possible. Sure, this may sound tricky especially when you’re living and working in your motorhome. However, you really need to keep business and personal accounts separate, and this includes credit cards and bank accounts.
- Receipts. Repair receipts. Hookup receipts (as in utilities 😉 ). Gas receipts. Tolls paid receipts. And any parking expenses.
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