Those who love camping may spend weeks or months out of the year away from home living in a camper, motor home or RV. It has all the amenities of home and can even provide some of the same tax benefits as a home. An owner often views a camper as a second home, and so does the IRS.
Definition of a Home Mortgage
The Internal Revenue Service allows mortgage interest paid on a first or second home to be included as an itemized deduction on a federal tax return. For IRS purposes, a home can include a house, condo, cooperative, mobile home or boat. A camper can be considered a second home as long as it has sleeping, bathroom and cooking facilities. Interest on first and second mortgages on the same property, as well as home equity loans and refinanced mortgages, may qualify for deduction.
Federal Tax Forms
Mortgage interest paid on a first or second home is deductible on lines 10 and 11 of Form 1040, Schedule A for itemized deductions. Line 10 is used to record interest reported to you by the lender on Form 1098. The lender for a camper loan may not be required to send a 1098. In this case, the amount of interest paid on the loan during the year should be recorded on line 11.
Requirements for Itemizing Deductions
To report mortgage interest as an itemized deduction on Schedule A, your total itemized deductions must be more than your standard deduction. Either the standard deduction or the total itemized deductions can be claimed on a tax return, but not both. Items that can be used to boost itemized deductions include medical and dental expenses in excess of 7.5 percent of income, certain nonfederal taxes paid and charitable contributions.
Limitations apply if total mortgage debt on both the first home and second home exceeds $1 million. Mortgage debt on a home equity loan that is used for purposes other than to buy, build or improve either home -- such as paying off credit card debt -- cannot exceed $100,000 without being subject to limitations. In addition, if total mortgage debt is more than the fair market value of the first and second home, limitations may apply. There are even further limitations for those who are married filing separately.
Dawn Aldridge has worked in accounting and business since 2004. Her diverse experience includes public, small business and government accounting, as well as logistics and inventory management. She holds an MBA from the University of Illinois at Springfield.