When we made the decision to purchase the fifth wheel back in May 2009 the recently instituted First Time Home Buyer Credit allowed us to receive a 10% credit back during tax time. We could have filed an adjustment to our 2008 taxes but figured we would just wait until filing our 2009 taxes.
In the meantime a number of folks used fraud to improperly claim the credit. By the Fall of 2009 reports of fraud were major headlines across the news outlets (ABC). In response Congress and the IRS slowed processing of the credits and adjusted rules to claim it. At some point during the process the IRS redefined the allow-ability of using the credit for fifth wheels and RVs. In fact the IRS specifically ruled that recreational vehicles with a motor did not qualify. For travel trailers (recreational vehicles that are tow-able) the rules were less clear.
Rules for claiming First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit for travel trailers (as we have interpreted them… and we are not tax pros so this is opinion). You can file for the credit if you qualify as a first time home buyer under the program definitions, you purchase a travel trailer during the qualifying time periods, the travel trailer (unlike a mobile home or houseboat) must be affixed to land.
The affixed to land definition is what eliminated us from the credit. Since we travel between RV parks and do not have a stationary mailing address at the same location as a our trailer we do not qualify.
So what does this all mean? It is just another example of crazy government rules that arbitrarily favor and disfavor certain groups for unknown and unspecified reasons. Are we first time home buyers? Yes. Did the rule cover us when we made the purchase? Yes. Do we get to claim it now? No. Gotta love taxes.