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Taxes when you live fulltime in an RV

With so many questions, tax time can feel overwhelming. With this list I hope to answer some questions to aid in gathering information and staying organized throughout the year to make tax time easier. Remember each of us are individual and have individual tax needs even when we live in a RV. Feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns and we’ll see how I can help you.

When it comes to tax time, where do I begin?

Gather all documents that are mailed to you. You can sometimes also download your forms directly from banks and other financial institutions. This can include 1099s, W2s, 1095, 1098, Social Security form, etc.

If you have your own small business, make sure your books are up to date for the end of the year and everything is reconciled. If you plan on using a tax professional to help prepare your taxes, I suggest also having a copy of last year’s return to provide the tax professional. This will aid in ensuring your data is correct.

I have a remote business I run from my RV. What paperwork will I need to file my income tax?

Hopefully, you’ve been keeping track of your expenses and can easily gather this information. I recommend using Quicken, Quickbooks, Xero, Freshbooks or other software to help aid in this all year long. It will make life easier come tax time. Plus, you’ll be able to see how your business is doing with reports.

You will need:

  • 1099s
  • Total income for the year
  • Itemized expenses for the year
  • Big ticket items you’ve purchased, the date you purchased and the cost (large business assets)
  • Inventory (if you have an inventory business)
  • Mileage for any vehicle used for the business (must have written evidence, have yearly mileage vs. business mileage, and date vehicle put into service for the business) If using actual expenses, then you’ll need costs of maintenance, insurance, registration, gas, etc. in addition to the mileage. You get to take a percentage based on business use.
  • Health Insurance costs
  • Estimated Tax Payment Amounts

Are taxes different because I live in my RV?

Sometimes they can be easier because you don’t have extra forms to fill out. Other times they are no different than living in a sticks and bricks home. Income tax is really an individual case by case basis depending on age, work, income, etc. Feel free you to reach out. I give a free 30 minute consultation to see if I can help you on your taxes.

What if I received a free site in exchange for working?

This really depends on the work and the employer. My best quick advice here is use whatever 1099 the employer provides to you. It will have the numbers you need for your income and it is provided to the IRS from your employer.

The IRS does consider bartering as income and you do need to include the fair market value (FMV) of anything you receive in exchange for your work in a campground/RV park. It’s best to reach out to your tax professional with specific questions on this as every situation is unique.

I rented my RV out this year. Can I take the expenses on it?

That depends. Did you rent it out for more than 14 days? If so, then yes you can take some of the expenses related to your RV. The expenses would be prorated for however many days it was rented out vs. you lived in it. Expenses include fees for listing on a rental site, RV insurance, RV taxes (property taxes) and repairs directly related to the rental (a renter breaks something and you need to fix it).

I run my business/work remotely from an RV. Can I take a home office deduction?

Short answer here is no. A home office must be 100% dedicated to the business and not be used for any other purpose. When you live in a tiny home, is there really enough space to dedicate solely to a business and not use for any other purpose? This is situation dependent and you might be the exception to the rule here. Feel free you to reach out with your situation and I’ll see if I can help you on your taxes.

This website is for general information only. We are not rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. For specific tax or legal assistance please consult your tax professional or myself on an individual basis.