Excessive water from storms caused pvc plumbing to a sump pump to break, and I had to replace two sump pumps because they had to run so much. I also paid $1300 out of pocket for having the basement dried out. Can I deduct the water clean-up charges, the plumbing charges and the cost of two sump pumps and labor from my taxes?
Was this from a Hurricane, or otherwise in a Federal Disaster area?
Your own labor is not deductible.
It is difficult to claim a casualty loss because you have to meet a tough threshold. Only the amount of a casualty loss that is OVER 10% of your adjusted gross income can be counted toward your itemized deductions, and even then you must subtract $100 from that amount.
If you want to enter your casualty loss, go to the Federal>Deductions and Credits> Deductions and Credits>Casualties and Thefts.
The concept is that your casualty loss is the decrease in property value caused by the damage. The IRS allows you to use the repair cost as a reasonable estimate the decrease in value assuming the repair doesn't substantially increase the value of the property. (For example, if you tore out 10 year old carpeting and replaced it with brand new, part of the cost is a betterment and not part of your loss.)
Then, the IRS requires you to submit a claim if you can.
For the remaining loss ($1000, or the $1000 deductible plus any uncovered expenses) the casualty deduction rules call for a deductible equal to 10% of your income. So if your income is $50,000, there is a $5,000 deductible on the loss. The rest of the loss (if any) would be deductible as an itemized deduction on schedule A.