Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Books and Record keeping

Q.  As a new RVer just starting out in business, what type of records do I need to keep? FG, South Dakota

A.  Although not a tax question, this pertains to so many people, I decided to publish your question. Without proper records, it would be impossible to prepare a tax return. For everyone starting out in business, and even if you've been in business a few years, reviewing  IRS Pub 583 is an excellent start. When paging through this publication, keep hitting the next button on the bottom right of each page, as this pub is several pages long.

If you are any type of entity other than a sole proprietor, you  need to use a double-entry bookkeeping system. There are several good software products on the market.


  1. Two more publications that apply to most RV folks are IRS-525, which addresses Taxable & Nontaxable Income and also IRS-526, Charitable Contributions, which is helpful especially to those who volunteer for an RV site.

    As mentioned, a major problem for we who live as work-campers is the fact that most of our issues are not specifically covered in the tax codes. You have to dig it our and draw conclusions which are not final unless taken through the courts. Even when you discuss problems with IRS employees, you tend to get different answers and their advice is not binding upon the IRS.

    There really are very few of the so called "tax professionals" who know the RV lifestyle and it is very refreshing to find someone here who is.

  2. Thanks for your interest and mentioning the two additional pubs. What a good idea! Sure hope all my fellow RV's can put these suggestions to good use. Stay safe out there!