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Tax Deductions on Boats as a Second Home

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Tax Deductions on Boats as a Second Home

Old 02-18-2019, 02:43 PM
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Default Tax Deductions on Boats as a Second Home

Hi all,
I have a 27' DC with a marine head and grill. There is no berth for sleeping, but the boat is big enough that I do sleep on it on Saturday night because, I fish the next morning and my commute home is about 60 miles.
I read the IRS publication (936) on this and in my opinion, it's open to interpretation. To qualify as a second home and take the tax deductions, the Boat must have "sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities." If the boat is less than 25', I think it's a stretch, but at 27' it's comfortable and the isinglass keeps the critters out.
I'm not looking for tax advise so let's not bother with that, I simply wanted to ping the group and get simple opinions / interpretation. Thanks all.
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:55 PM
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With the new tax changes you will be lucky to write off the interest on your 1st home. Your itemized deductions would have to exceed your standard deduction.
Regardless of your tax situation, that boat would not qualify.
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:57 PM
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Open to interpretation?, only interpretation that counts is the IRS, not members of THT. It’s pushing it without a berth if you ask me, but it’s open to interpretation. Talk to a CPA.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:08 PM
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Your boat doesn't qualify.

Berth, Head and Stove must be built in.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:21 PM
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*************This is not tax advice or guidance*************

I've been going to a CPE tax update class for 20 years. The tax guru that leads it "jokes" every year that if you have a "sleeping bag, porta potti and grill on your pontoon boat..."

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Old 02-18-2019, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ReelNauti View Post
Your boat doesn't qualify.

Berth, Head and Stove must be built in.
Just for ships and giggles... Where exactly does it say the berth, head, stove must be built in? The word "Boat" appears only once in the IRS publication. Also, the word Berth is not found in the entire document. Below is where the word "Boat" appears. This is why I say it's open for interpretation.

"A home includes a house, condominium, cooperative, mobile home, house trailer, boat, or similar property that has sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities."
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:38 PM
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Hi GWcpa,
Can you please post a link to the IRS publication? Is it 936 or some other? Also, what was the end of your sentence?
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:17 PM
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There is TONS of information on this topic all over THT and the Internet.

Your boat does not qualify

You even posted "sleeping..facilities"

Please tell us what sleeping facilities your boat has. Any mattress?

Does it have freshwater?

is the grill permanently installed / built-in?

Good luck
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
There is TONS of information on this topic all over THT and the Internet.

Your boat does not qualify

You even posted "sleeping..facilities"

Please tell us what sleeping facilities your boat has. Any mattress?

Does it have freshwater?

is the grill permanently installed / built-in?

Good luck
I was quoting the IRS publication when I mentioned facilities. As you know, the definition of facilities include; a place, amenity, or piece of equipment provided for a particular purpose.

To answer your question; yes I have a mattress, fresh water, and yes the grill is built in, but I believe that even a portable grill would meet the requirements of facilities.

I'm not saying I'm going to file the exception. My point is, this rule to me seems open for interpretation and not clear cut. I don't understand how some are so quick to say "NO."
If the IRS publication and so called experts on tax law were clear on this rule, there wouldn't be "TONS" of info on this board or the web.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:34 PM
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Go argue with the IRS if you think that you are correct. They have a lot more money than you--and will usually win.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:37 PM
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Lets say your boat does have all 3, are there any other requirements? # of days slept on boat?
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:43 PM
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A buddy of mine that is a selfie proclaimed "cowboy" CPA always advised against the boat as a second home move. Claims it is a red flag.

What does your CPA say? Heck spend the $75 ( I think) on the Turbo tax live review service and ask.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:46 PM
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In no way supporting this argument but if you deduct the interest there’s no place on the sch A that you indicate “boat” to create a “red flag.”

Now Depreciation and expenses as a “business” is a whole ‘nother deal!

IRS can’t tell if it’s a full cabin/CC/DC boat ( or RV ) unless you are audited. A second house will typically have a 1098 for a mortgage.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by thataway View Post
Go argue with the IRS if you think that you are correct. They have a lot more money than you--and will usually win.
You're stating the obvious which I like, but there's no substance in this comment.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by flyhigh123 View Post
Lets say your boat does have all 3, are there any other requirements? # of days slept on boat?
No requirement for days, just what was previously mentioned.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by v12mac View Post
A buddy of mine that is a selfie proclaimed "cowboy" CPA always advised against the boat as a second home move. Claims it is a red flag.

What does your CPA say? Heck spend the $75 ( I think) on the Turbo tax live review service and ask.
I rather talk to actual boat owners than a CPA, but like everything else, you'll receive a different response per CPA because this law is so flaky.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by GWcpa View Post
In no way supporting this argument but if you deduct the interest there’s no place on the sch A that you indicate “boat” to create a “red flag.”

Now Depreciation and expenses as a “business” is a whole ‘nother deal!

IRS can’t tell if it’s a full cabin/CC/DC boat ( or RV ) unless you are audited. A second house will typically have a 1098 for a mortgage.
I agree, the first two have more requirements in the tax law but I'm not referring to those in this thread .

I agree with you as well on the last sentence which makes my argument stronger. Also you can ask the bank to send you a 1098 for the boat interest.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:06 AM
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As my accountant says you can always argue deductions but you can’t argue income. Hell I just bought a 47” ultra 4K “monitor” for my office.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:23 AM
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What if you have a fish camp with a travel trailer. Does that qualify as second home? Wouldn’t that fall under the simular property clause?
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by keithelder View Post
What if you have a fish camp with a travel trailer. Does that qualify as second home? Wouldn’t that fall under the simular property clause?
I'm not giving advise, I'm asking so don't know. Go to the RVTruth.com and post there.
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