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Taxes When Renting Out Your RV

Thinking of taking a trip away from your motorhome or RV? Plan on renting it out while you are gone. Keep these tax rules in mind. Now you can plan ahead for taxes when renting out your RV or vacation property.

Renting out your RV

Many owners rent out real estate while they travel. Others use rental websites to earn a little extra cash while they aren’t using their RV. In addition to the standard maintenance, owners should be aware of the tax implications of residential rentals including RV and vacation homes.

Receiving money for the use of a dwelling also used as a taxpayer’s personal residence (your RV) generally requires reporting the rental income on a tax return. It also means some of the expenses become deductible reducing the rental income that’s subject to income tax. So let’s learn all about taxes when renting out your RV.

Dwelling Unit

This may be a house, RV, an apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat, vacation home or similar property. It’s possible to use more than one dwelling unit as a residence during the year.

Used as a Home

If you use your dwelling unit more than 14 days or 10% of the total days rented to others at a fair rental price, you will have to prorate rental expenses and keep in mind rental expenses cannot be more than the rent received.

Personal Use

Personal use means use by the owner or owner’s family and includes anyone paying less than a fair rental price.

However, if you stay at the property to complete maintenance work, that time period does not qualify as personal use. This includes staying in the RV to repaint or fix a broken A/C.

100% Rental

Do you own a house, trailer or RV that is used 100% for rentals? This means you spend no time at all living in the home or RV. Then have no fear. You can deduct all expenses related to that rental.

Divide Expenses

Special rules generally apply to the rental of a home, apartment or another dwelling unit that is used by the taxpayer as a residence during the taxable year. Usually, rental income must be reported in full, and any expenses need to be divided between personal and business purposes. You need to compute the percent of time used for personal vs. rental. Once you get that percentage you can figure out deductible expenses. Expenses include the cost of insurance, property taxes and any interest on a loan.

If you need special insurance for covering it as a rental, that is a fully deductible expense.

100% Deductible Expenses

Fees for listing on a rental site, specific insurance to cover the rental period and repairs directly related to the rental (a renter breaks something and you need to fix it) many times are 100% deductible up to the income you received. This applies if your rental is split between personal and rental use.

If you have a 100% rental property, then these expenses are usually 100% deductible no matter the income. So even if the expenses create a loss, you can take them.

The loss is limited to $25,000/year. However, any loss greater than the $25,000 is carried over to future tax years. This loss limit may also be limited by your adjusted gross income.

How to Report

Use Schedule E to report rental income and rental expenses on Supplemental Income and Loss as part of your 1040 Income Tax return. Rental income may also be subject to Net Investment Income Tax.

If your Schedule A deductions add up to more than the Standard Deduction, you will use Schedule A to report deductible expenses for personal use on the rental property. This includes such costs as mortgage or loan interest, property taxes, and casualty losses.

Special Rules

If the dwelling unit is rented out fewer than 15 days during the year, you don’t have to report any of the rental income nor can you take any of the rental expenses as deductions.

Does this all confuse you? Don’t know where to begin tracking and filing numbers. Feel free to reach out for help with filing your Schedule E as part of your income tax return.

What else would like you to know about taxes when renting out your RV? Ask below.

12 Responses

  1. Kathie Cunningham
    | Reply

    A couple questions. we rented our camper last year with RV Share for 33 days total to 6 different renters in 2017. our personal use was one trip for 8 days. the rest of year it sat in our driveway.
    on schedule E : Is the type of property a #3- Vacation//short term?
    Do you put the number of days actually rented in box A or the total number of days is was available to rent?
    do you put the “rents received” in Line 3 as the amount you received total from the company?
    Can I deduct all the interest paid on the loan on line 12 for the year or only the interest from the months it was rented? (which was June, July, August)
    On line 16 for “Taxes”, is this where you report the sales tax that you had to collect and send to your state? If not, where? cause RV Share sent us the whole amount after their fees and then I had to send quarterly sales tax to the state of Iowa. Is that all I have to do with that?
    Ive always done our own taxes and now I regret the RV Share thing because I AM SO CONFUSED!!!!! HELP !!!

    • Heather Ryan
      | Reply

      It can be quite confusing.

      Only report the days rented and the days you used personally. Never include days it wasn’t rented out. In your case you used the RV 8 out of 41 days or 20% of the time. This means you can report any expenses for the RV and the tax software you are using should automatically calculate the percent you can take against the rental income.

      Sales tax is never reported on tax returns. Sales tax is collected on behalf of your customer and then remitted to the local or state collector. It is never considered income nor is it considered an expense.

      Taxes for rental property include real estate taxes or in your case, personal property tax when registering the RV should your state have that as part of your registration fees.

      I’m available to help with tax preparation, if you need further help.

      • Kathie Cunningham
        | Reply

        Thanks Heather. I’m starting to understand some of it. One more question, should the fees I paid to RV Share go on line 5 (Advertising), Line 8 (Commissions), or Line 11 (Management fees)?
        I am trying to do this myself due to budget constraints and I really appreciate your help.

        • Heather Ryan
          | Reply

          It honestly doesn’t matter which category you put them under as long as you have records to back up your claim.

  2. Kathie Cunningham
    | Reply

    By the way, I am asking these questions for reporting RV Share income only. we will not be itemizing on our taxes.

  3. […] To learn more about personal use, visit this post. […]

  4. Rebecca Erhardt
    | Reply

    We buy and convert fifth wheel trailers for year-round rent on our property. Can we deduct cost of trailer and costs for conversion? Thanks.

    • Heather @ Tax Queen
      | Reply

      Sounds like you are running a business. Business expenses like trailer upgrades are deductible. However, you’ll probably have to depreciate the costs of the trailers as business assets.

  5. Robert J Petty
    | Reply

    All of the online rental companies like RVShare and Outdoorsy have the option to add Sales Tax as part of the rates but I’m not even sure I am required to collect and pay sales tax on these rentals. Do have to pay sales tax on RV rental income?

    • Heather @ Tax Queen
      | Reply

      Depends on if the state has a temporary lodging tax. I would say most do have the tax, but you’d have to know for your particular rental state.

  6. Kevin Frazier
    | Reply

    Do I have to collect lodging tax through RVShare, or should I not and that is the responsibility of the customer to pay?

    • Heather @ Tax Queen
      | Reply

      If your state has a lodging tax, then you are responsible for collecting and remitting it to the right government authority.

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