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lmbrawner7712
New Member

Claim loss of house fire

How do I claim my loses from a house fire?
8 Replies
rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Claim loss of house fire

You might be able to deduct the loss from the fire as a casualty loss, but there are a lot of limitations, so the deduction might not amount to anything. First of all, you probably have homeowner's insurance, so you must file an insurance claim. For tax purposes, the amount of your loss is the difference between the fair market value of the house before the fire and the value immediately after the fire. The loss that you can claim on your tax return is only the amount that was not reimbursed by insurance. (More about insurance below.) In calculating the deduction for a casualty loss, you first have to subtract $100 from the unreimbursed amount of the loss. Then you have to subtract 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). What's left after those subtractions is the amount you can deduct.

For example, suppose the decrease in value not covered by insurance is $4,000 and your AGI is $37,000. Subtracting $100 leaves $3,900. 10% of your AGI is $3,700. So the amount that is deductible is $200 ($3,900 - $3,700). If your AGI was $39,000 or more you would have no deduction.

If you still have something to deduct, a casualty loss is an itemized deduction. To get any tax benefit from the deduction, your total itemized deductions, including the deductible portion of the casualty loss, have to be more than your standard deduction.

In calculating the deductible amount, if the insurance claim is still pending you have to subtract the amount that you expect to be reimbursed by insurance. If you do not receive the insurance payment in the same year as the loss, and the payment is more or less than the expected amount that you subtracted, you would have to make an adjustment on your tax return for the year that you received the insurance reimbursement.

If you think you can take a deduction for the casualty loss, see IRS Publication 547 for more details about the deduction, including the proof of loss that you will need, and how to handle delayed insurance reimbursement. You can download Pub. 547 from the following link.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p547.pdf

You cannot claim itemized deductions in TurboTax Free Edition. If you have enough itemized deductions to exceed your standard deduction, you have to use one of the paid versions of TurboTax in order to claim itemized deductions.

Here's how to enter a casualty loss in TurboTax.

  • Click the Federal Taxes tab.
  • Click Deductions & Credits.
  • Click "I'll choose what I work on" or "Jump to a full list."
  • On the screen "Your 2016 Deductions & Credits," scroll all the way down to the last section, "Other Deductions and Credits."
  • Click the Start, Update, or Revisit button for Casualties and Thefts.
txcarolyn
Level 2

Claim loss of house fire

do you figure the fmv as what i paid for my home and then what the insurance paid me?  What if the amount the insurance paid me is more than what i paid for the home.  or is it what the house would sell for a the time of the fire.

xmasbaby0
Level 15

Claim loss of house fire

The thread you posted to is old one.  The new tax laws eliminated casualty and theft losses as a deduction on your federal return unless you are in a federal disaster zone. Sorry. 

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Tfarrell567
New Member

Claim loss of house fire

My house that I rented burnt down to the ground taxes took 3000 dollars of my return I am homeless can I get a refund

DoninGA
Level 15

Claim loss of house fire


@Tfarrell567 wrote:

My house that I rented burnt down to the ground taxes took 3000 dollars of my return I am homeless can I get a refund


A refund for the TurboTax account fees?  No.  If your tax return was filed, accepted and processed by the IRS there is no reason to provide a refund of the account fees.

xmasbaby0
Level 15

Claim loss of house fire

@Tfarrell567 So very sorry---that is dreadful.   But as for a "refund"--- the tax laws are not going to provide any relief for you on a federal tax return.   There is no federal deduction for casualty losses from a fire, etc., unless you are in an area that has been declared a federal disaster area.   

 

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/4482873-which-federal-tax-deductions-have-been-suspended-by-tax-re...

 

Not sure what you mean by "taxes took $3000 of my return"   --- could you please explain that?   Do you mean that your refund was reduced by the IRS?   There are a lot of folks who made mistakes on their tax returns for 2021 that resulted in reduced refunds when the IRS caught their mistakes.  Did you receive a letter from the IRS?

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
SteamTrain
Level 15

Claim loss of house fire

And if this was a rental owned by someone else, that you rented from them...

 

...you should make sure you call your own insurance company to see if there is any insurance payout for possessions you owned and lost in the fire (if you had any type of rental insurance).

 

____________*Answers are correct to the best of my knowledge when posted, but should not be considered to be legal or official tax advice.*
Carl
Level 15

Claim loss of house fire

My house that I rented burnt down

This is exactly why I encourage all of my tenants to get renters insurance. At a cost of less than $200 a year, I can't see any valid reason not to have this coverage. Additionally, if the fire marshal determines the cause of the fire was the fault of the tenant, there's nothing to keep the landlord's insurance company from coming after you; and the landlord can't do jack squat to prevent that either. Whereas with renter's insurance, the renter (or ex-renter) is covered.

 

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