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Tax Corner: Tax return tips especially for RVing business owners

By Neil Seidler, CPA, CMA
Since it’s tax time, I thought I’d give you a few tips and things to think about regarding your tax return, especially if you’re an RVing business owner.

Don’t miss out on deductions

Deductions are your responsibility, both to claim and to document. The IRS doesn’t care if you miss deductions or fail to claim legitimate deductions that will lower your taxable income and therefore your tax bill. Any expense incurred for the purpose of producing income is a deductible expense.

Keep track of all of your expenses. These would include cell phone, internet, office supplies, advertising, professional fees, insurance costs, and travel expenses for business purposes. Travel expenses should be documented to show the business portion, the reason for the travel, and the actual business portion of the expense. Personal travel costs are not deductible.

Keep receipts for your RV business

Documenting the expenses is the responsibility of the taxpayer. Keep your receipts, either on paper or electronically. Each expense should be easily verified if the IRS decides to review your tax return. Any receipt not there will be a disallowed deduction if the IRS does decide to look at your expenses.

What about the RV business home office deduction for full-time RVers?

The home office deduction is for an office or space that is used exclusively for your business.  In an RV it would be pretty hard to justify that the space claimed is used exclusively for business purposes. Even in a toy hauler with a small office set up in the back, I’m sure that space is used for personal use at times. I think that you would have a difficult time proving that it isn’t.

The other consideration is that based on the size of an RV and the size of an office space in that RV, the deduction would be minimal at best. Do you really want to risk an audit over claiming a deduction for maybe a hundred dollars or so at best, and probably less than that in most cases? The time, effort, and costs of an audit really aren’t worth it for something that will likely be disallowed.

Professional advice is a great idea

Even if you prepare your business income and expense statements yourself, and do your own tax return, you may want to spend an hour or so with a tax professional to discuss tax matters specific to your own personal situation. Everyone has little differences in their personal, financial and tax planning positions. Discussing those with a professional can result in new and different ideas that you may want to consider. And if you’re already doing everything you can to maximize your benefits and minimize your costs, then it’s good to know that too.

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We welcome your questions and inquiries. If you have tax-related questions, or any other questions that we may be able to address, please email us or comment below and we’ll try to answer them in a future article.

If you need assistance with your tax filings or other accounting matters please feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help. You can email me at Neil@profitprocpa.com. My business website is ProfitPro Accounting and Tax, or call my office at (702) 754-1338.

We present this material for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on, for tax, accounting or legal advice. Therefore, readers should consult their own tax, accounting and legal advisors to discuss their own personal matters.

Read Neil’s most recent post: A follow-up to “Keeping track of income and expenses for a business”

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