Last year when it became clear that I would be buying the RV in 2012 after all, I briefly poked online for information on full-timing and taxes and was quickly overwhelmed. Following the advice I’d heard from some others and seeing the potential for how complicated it could all be, I decided that once all my tax documents arrived in the mail this year for the first time ever I’d pay someone to take care of it for me. Preferably a specialist with experience doing full-timer’s taxes.
Last week the last of my W-2’s came in, and I settled in at the computer to go about finding the perfect person to take care of this unpleasantness.
And I kept searching. Who was it that full-timers take their tax stuff to anyway? I could find topics on forums saying yes, take it to a professional with RVing experience, but nothing more specific about where such a person could be found.
Eventually I threw my hands up in the air and said screw it, I’ll figure it out myself.
Here might follow an account about the trials and tribulations of filing taxes as a newly minted full-time RVer, but really it wasn’t too bad in my case. I worked three different jobs in two different states that both have income tax. Partway through the year, I moved to a state that didn’t have income tax. There was no selling of a house to account for, no need to move a self-run business to a new state. I don’t have any investments, and didn’t have enough money sitting in a saving’s account this past year to have to pay taxes on accrued interest.
So for me, all it was was the W-2’s. South Carolina got a portion for the two jobs I held there, Kansas got a bit for the Amazon job I did there, and South Dakota required no work at all since they don’t have income tax. I filed as a part year resident for SC, and a nonresident for KS. It took longer than in previous years, but wasn’t unduly complicated with the tax program holding my hand through the whole thing.
I had to pay more using Turbo Tax than I did last year since there was two states to file, and I also paid extra for representation in the unlikely event my return gets randomly chosen to be audited by the IRS. It’s a slim chance, but if it happens I’d rather not have to deal with it myself. Although it has little to do with RVing per say, I personally choose to take no allowances when I start a new job so that the state and feds take out the maximum, then come tax time at least I get money back for my trouble. It’s like having a second Christmas, right around my birthday.
This coming year will probably be more complicated as I’ll be on the road the whole time, and have a couple side projects in the works, but only time will tell. Having managed it this year on my own makes me feel more confident that I’ll be able to do it next year too.
I’m reluctant to try to give detailed advice on this topic beyond my own experiences, because it’s going to be so different for everyone. If there can be said to be a moral of this story I guess it’s that taxes get a little more complicated if your working on the road than standing still, but unless you make other drastic financial changes during the year it’s certainly not unmanageable.
For all you other full-timers out there on the road, do you do your own taxes or pay someone to do them for you, and if so, who? Maybe we can clear up the confusion a little for those readers who are also new to the road or thinking about getting on the road and where they can turn to for help.
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In other news, and there is a new set of videos up on the Videos page. This set covers my two nights in South Dakota last fall, it’s at the bottom. You might also have noticed the new addition to the main menu, The Adventure. This shows a bigger version of the 2012 travel map, and this year’s map as well. Enjoy!
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