taxes

Taking a tax deduction on an RV as a home

Don TaylorDear Dr. Don,
I financed a Class A motor home, which I lived in full time. It was my only abode. I had no other home. Am I allowed to claim the interest on this loan on my federal income taxes?

Thanks,
-- Jerrold Jitney

Dear Jerrold,
So, we're talking about a recreational vehicle, or RV, here. In further discussing this situation with you, you've made it clear that you claimed the interest deduction on your 2011 federal income taxes and that the Internal Revenue Service doesn't want to allow you this deduction.

I have a couple of ideas right off the top, including for you to get a better accountant. Maybe do your own taxes? Contact your local IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service. If that doesn't work, then consider going through the appeals process with the IRS. Its website can direct you to these services.

The IRS in its 2011 Form 1040 Schedule A instructions states:

A home mortgage is any loan that is secured by your main home or second home. It includes first and second mortgages, home equity loans and refinanced mortgages.

A home can be a house, condominium, cooperative, mobile home, boat or similar accommodations including sleeping space, toilet and cooking facilities.

There are reasons why the deduction could be limited based on the amount financed, or if the loan proceeds were used for reasons other than financing the RV. But if you used the loan proceeds to finance the purchase of the motor home and it was your primary residence or a second home, then it shouldn't be an issue. That is, unless you borrowed more than $1 million, already own a second home or own another RV.

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