Is interest on an RV loan tax deductible?

10

By Neil Seidler, CPA, CMA
Like most areas of taxation, the answer to this question is “it depends.” But it’s entirely possible you can deduct the interest on your RV’s loan.

You can take a deduction for home mortgage interest for your main home and for a second home. So, the question is, “Does your RV qualify as a second home?”

To qualify, it needs sleeping, cooking and toilet facilities. So most class A, B and C motorhomes, fifth wheels and travel trailers should qualify. The mortgage or mortgages must be a secured debt (meaning that your home or the RV is used as collateral for the debt), and your total mortgage principal on your first and second homes cannot exceed $750,000 before limitations apply.

Another factor is that to claim the mortgage interest you must itemize your deductions. Only about 30% of taxpayers do that. Most take the standard deduction, so that needs to be examined closely by your professional tax advisor.

Neil Seidler CPA, CMA has served businesses and individuals across the USA and Canada for 35 years. As an avid RVer and recent full-timer he has a unique perspective on RV tax issues. Contact him at TheRVTaxGuy (at) gmail.com .

The material presented here is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, accounting, or legal advice. Readers should consult their own tax, accounting, and legal advisors to discuss their own personal matters.

##RVDT1352

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

David Hoffman
4 months ago

In reality, nothing much is “deductible” under the new tax laws. So unless you have total deductions in excess of $24K, don’t bother, just file short form using a cheap/free online program.

Joseph Lopez
1 year ago

Just wanted to thank you Neil for the information and follow up to the questions asked. You’ve taken the time to write the article and more of your time to answer questions, provide feedback and references. Much appreciated

Neil Seidler
1 year ago
Reply to  Joseph Lopez

Thanks Joseph.
Please feel free to contact me at Thervtaxguy@gmail.com if you have other questions

Kevin
1 year ago

Would the author please post some citations to support this? There should be an IRS publication that can be used to support this (include date of pub and page numbers for reference) thanks

Neil Seidler
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin

You can look at IRS Publication 936;
Part I. Home Mortgage Interest

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p936#idm140345683605648

Ron
1 year ago

In accordance with the Trump tax laws the became effective 1 Jan 2018, non-motorized rv’s are no longer included in this deduction. So those of you with trailers (of any type) are out of luck.

Neil Seidler
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron

You’ve seen some incorrect information on this subject.

The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported that under the 2017 Trump Tax changes, in order to claim an RV as a second home, and thereby deduct the interest paid on the loan, it was required to have an engine. As such, they reported that fifth wheels, travel trailers, and other towable RVs would no longer qualify, nor would the interest be deductible.

That is incorrect.

The usual requirements of a second home (sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities), and the need for the debt to be secured, are the factors that apply.

Section 163 of the Internal Revenue Code talks about the deductibility of interest; self-propelled vehicles are discussed in subsection j, and it relates to the interest on financing plans that RV dealers use when they buy RVs that they will then sell to the public.

Although important from an industry perspective, this limitation doesn’t apply to an individual RV owner and isn’t going to affect the individual’s ability to deduct the interest on an RV purchase loan.

The interest on RV loans for fifth wheels, travel trailers, and other towables is still deductible on your tax return, subject to the other limitations discussed in the article.

Don’t let the internet rumors mislead you, and be sure to check with your tax professional so that you’re claiming all the deductions that you’re entitled to.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Neil Seidler

Hi, Neil. Sorry our super-aggressive filter held your comment for approval. I was out walking at the local track when it came in and didn’t notice it until now. Thank you for your thorough response (and I apologize for my delay in approving it). Welcome aboard! Have a good night. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Jerome Weigel
1 year ago
Reply to  Neil Seidler

Just bought a class A motor home, Had a fifth wheel and lost the tax deduction on it with new tax laws. waiting to see if it will be deductible, probably not as was told by our tax person it has to be your primary resident to deduct. We also pay a lot of personal property tax on rv’s here in Va.

Neil Seidler
1 year ago
Reply to  Jerome Weigel

You’ve also seen (or been given) some incorrect information on this subject.

You can only have 1 “Main Home” which is your principal residence. There are sections of the Tax Code that reference to your “Main Home”, however, mortgage interest on BOTH your main home and second home can be deducted.

This is an excerpt from IRS Publication 936:

Part I. Home Mortgage Interest
This part explains what you can deduct as home mortgage interest. It includes discussions on points and how to report deductible interest on your tax return.
Generally, home mortgage interest is any interest you pay on a loan secured by your home (main home or a second home). The loan may be a mortgage to buy your home, or a second mortgage.

You can deduct home mortgage interest if all the following conditions are met.
1. You file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).
2. The mortgage is a secured debt on a qualified home in which you have an ownership interest. Secured Debt and Qualified Home are explained later.

Secured Debt
You can deduct your home mortgage interest only if your mortgage is a secured debt. Your mortgage is a secured debt if you put your home up as collateral to protect the interests of the lender. If you can’t pay the debt, your home can then serve as payment to the lender to satisfy (pay) the debt. In this publication, mortgage will refer to secured debt.

Qualified Home
For you to take a home mortgage interest deduction, your debt must be secured by a qualified home. This means your main home or your second home. A home includes a house, condominium, cooperative, mobile home, house trailer, boat, or similar property that has sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities.

Main home
You can have only one main home at any one time. This is the home where you ordinarily live most of the time.

Second home
A second home is a home that you choose to treat as your second home.