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I just lot a big collection of toy cars and other valuables in a fire. I estimate the losses at $ 10,000-15,000. I did not have insurance to cover it. Can I write off the losses? If so, what kind of documentation do I need? Do I need a professional Appraisal? Pictures of everything that I can identify? Any other advice?

I don’t have a pre-fire list of everything… What can I do?
And would the write off value be what I Paid 10 years ago? Or current value??

3 Thoughts on Lost valuables in fire… no insurance… Tax Write-Off??
  1. Reply
    July 6, 2011 at 8:11 am

    go to H&R block. The tax professional will help you.

  2. Reply
    July 6, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Subject to a few provisos, yes, you can deduct (some of) your losses. This is called a casualty loss. For personal use property such as this, you start with the fair market value at the time of the loss. You subtract any salvage value (if the property still has some, though reduced, value) and any insurance proceeds received (none in your case). That is your loss.

    Then you have to subtract $ 100. Then, you can deduct your loss (after the $ 100 reduction) only to the extent that it exceeds 10% of your Adjusted Gross Income. So, if your loss was $ 12,500, and your AGI is $ 40,000, you can deduct (12,500-100)-(10%*40,000)=$ 8,400.

    However, you have to itemize your deductions in order to take a casualty loss deduction. If you ordinarily itemize, this is no big deal. If you ordinarily take the standard deduction because you don’t have many itemized deductions, you may be out of luck. You can see the link below for more details.

  3. Reply
    July 6, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Casualty and Theft Losses are available as itemized deductions
    read —

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