A loss on deposits can occur when a bank, credit union, or other financial institution becomes insolvent or bankrupt. If you incurred this type of loss, you can choose one of the following ways to deduct the loss.
- As a casualty loss.
- As an ordinary loss.
- As a nonbusiness bad debt.
You can choose to deduct a loss on deposits as a casualty loss or as an ordinary loss for any year in which you can reasonably estimate how much of your deposits you have lost in an insolvent or bankrupt financial institution. The choice is generally made on the return you file for that year and applies to all your losses on deposits for the year in that particular financial institution. If you treat the loss as a casualty or ordinary loss, you cannot treat the same amount of the loss as a nonbusiness bad debt when it actually becomes worthless. However, you can take a nonbusiness bad debt deduction for any amount of loss that is more than the estimated amount you deducted as a casualty or ordinary loss. Once you make this choice, you cannot change it without permission from the Internal Revenue Service.
If you claim an ordinary loss, report it as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 23. The maximum amount you can claim is $20,000 ($10,000 if you are married filing separately) reduced by any expected state insurance proceeds. Your loss is subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit. You cannot choose to claim an ordinary loss if any part of the deposit is federally insured.taxmap/pub17/p17-139.htm#en_us_publink1000173545
If you do not choose to deduct the loss as a casualty loss or as an ordinary loss, you must wait until the year the actual loss is determined and deduct the loss as a nonbusiness bad debt in that year. taxmap/pub17/p17-139.htm#en_us_publink1000173546
The kind of deduction you choose for your loss on deposits determines how you report your loss. If you choose:
- Casualty loss — report it on Form 4684 first and then on Schedule A (Form 1040).
- Ordinary loss — report it on Schedule A (Form 1040) as a miscellaneous itemized deduction.
- Nonbusiness bad debt — report it on Schedule D (Form 1040).
For more information, see Special Treatment for Losses on Deposits in Insolvent or Bankrupt Financial Institutions in the Instructions for Form 4684 or Deposit in Insolvent or Bankrupt Financial Institution in Publication 550.