Monday, April 5, 2010

RV Tax Information : Checklist of items for your Accountant and the IRS

As we near the end of the 2009 tax season (April 2010), and you are heading to your accountant with your "life in a shoebox" or pile of receipts, here is a list of questions or a checklist of topics you can cover with your accountant to make sure that you are getting full credit for the allowances that are provided to RV owners. This list isn't intended to ANSWER the questions, but it is intended to make sure you discover the answers with someone who is highly trained in tax law.

Remember, as you read this, that the IRS defines a home as something that has a bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen and an RV qualifies.
  • Is my RV eligible for any first time homeowners credit?
  • Is my RV eligible for any repeat home buyers credit?
  • Is my interest on my RV note deductable (either primary or secondary residence)?
    • UPDATE 2011 Feb : I did deduct RV loan interest on my taxes. Wasn't much, but I did beat the standard deduction for a number of reasons.
  • Is my sales tax deductible?
    • UPDATE 2011 Feb : In the state of Texas we get special sales tax treatment on our taxes so you can deduct your sales tax off of your federal taxes. I can't speak for other states. You have to meet your standard deduction.
  • Is my sales tax deductible (or have a credit) under any special rules (like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009).
  • Are my AAA or Good Sam dues deductible?
  • Are my solar panels or other environment friendly improvements deductible or have credits.
    • UPDATE 2011 Feb : The tax forms clearly provide credits for GREEN additions. I think you can make a pretty reasonable argument to deduct solar panels from your taxes even if used in an RV.
  • If I'm in a state where I pay property tax on my RV can I deduct it?
    • I certainly would give it a try.
    • In Texas you don't pay property tax on cars, trucks, RV's and such. I'm glad for it.
Wherever I say deductible you can exchange the word credit. Credits are better than deductions as they come right off the taxes, but you should always check with both. Make sure you ask the question to your accountant or tax preparer in multiple ways so that you can discover savings that might be masked by not using the correct language. Many times professionals are not very good at 'bridging the lingo gap'.

Good luck and make sure you ask all the questions! Let me know if you discover anything that was not on this list.

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