Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Working Camping

Q.   I have questions on what I can and cannot deduct on my taxes while work camping.  My wife and I use our trailer full time and started work camping in 2013.  My first job was a host and remuneration was a full hook up site.  This lasted for 120 days (4 week). I went on an interview for an Asst Manager position and was hired with remuneration a full hook up site plus $150.00 credit towards propane and electric.  My question is can I deduct mileage for the trip to the interview and moving to the new park, any overage costs over the $150 credit and since I am required to own and live in my RV at this job any upkeep expenses?  Both jobs are in California where we are California residents.  Sorry for the length of the question and thanks for your time.

A.  The RV lifestyle as wonderful as it is, is not viewed favorably in the eyes of the IRS who doesn't acknowledge our existence.  Although job seeking expenses are deductible on Schedule A as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, making your trip for the interview deductible, the actual cost of getting there is considered a commuting expense. You simply don't stay long enough to qualify under the moving expense deduction.

The good news is that since you are staying there for the convenience of your employer, the fair market value of the site and your credit is not taxable income. Any out-of-pocket costs for additional utilities are considered personal. Wish I had better news, but enjoy your stay and keep healthy!

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