November 13, 2014

Can a Motorhome Qualify as a Principal Place of Residence?

Question:

I am a minister and I have lived in a parsonage for 40 years. I hope to retire soon and travel around as a non-paid volunteer to assist small churches in rural areas. 

I am considering buying a motorhome (or RV). Can a motorhome qualify as a principal place of residence?

Answer:

Many individuals who own a motorhome ask this similar question: "Can my motorhome count as my second home?" The reason people ask this question is because there are tax benefits to claiming a motorhome as a second (or only) home. For example, the interest on a loan for the motorhome can qualify as a tax deduction, and an individual may be able to deduct a portion of the sales tax paid on a new motorhome. Also, some states allow a portion of the RV's vehicle registration to be deducted. 

There are a few basic requirements that must be met to claim a motorhome as a second (or only) home. For example, it must have on-board permanently mounted sleeping, eating, and bathroom facilities; these characteristics fulfill the IRS definition of a "dwelling unit." 

Additionally, owners who use their motorhomes for business purposes may be able to deduct some of their travel expenses and depreciation on their motorhome. We recommend you see your tax professional to see if you qualify and to find out what records you need to keep.   

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