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taxmap/pubs/p547-000.htm#en_us_publink1000225183
Publication 547

Casualties,  
Disasters,  
and Thefts


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What's New for 2009(p1)


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taxmap/pubs/p547-000.htm#en_us_publink1000225185

Increase in personal casualty and theft loss limit.(p1)

Generally, each personal casualty or theft loss is limited to the excess of the loss over $500. In addition, the 10%-of-adjusted gross income (AGI) limit continues to apply to the net loss.
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New Schedule L (Form 1040A or 1040).(p1)

If you claim a net disaster loss as part of your standard deduction, you must complete Schedule L (Form 1040A or 1040) and attach it to Form 1040. See Disaster Area Losses later.

What's New for 2010(p1)


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taxmap/pubs/p547-000.htm#en_us_publink1000225188

Decrease in personal casualty and theft loss limit.(p1)

Each personal casualty or theft loss is limited to the excess of the loss over $100 (instead of $500). In addition, the 10%-of-AGI limit continues to apply to the net loss.
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Disaster losses.(p1)

The special rules that were in effect in 2008 and 2009 for losses of personal use property attributable to federally declared disasters do not apply to losses occurring in 2010 and later years. Instead, these losses will be subject to the 10%-of-AGI limit and will be deductible only if you itemize your deductions. These losses will continue to be subject to the $100-per-loss limit.

Reminder(p1)


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Photographs of missing children.(p1)

The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

taxmap/pubs/p547-000.htm#TXMP3b119b86Introduction

This publication explains the tax treatment of casualties, thefts, and losses on deposits. A casualty occurs when your property is damaged as a result of a disaster such as a storm, fire, car accident, or similar event. A theft occurs when someone steals your property. A loss on deposits occurs when your financial institution becomes insolvent or bankrupt.
This publication discusses the following topics.
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Forms to file.(p2)


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Generally, when you have a casualty or theft, you have to file Form 4684. You may also have to file one or more of the following forms. For details on which form to use, see How To Report Gains and Losses, later.
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Condemnations.(p2)


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For information on condemnations of property, see Involuntary Conversions in chapter 1 of Publication 544.
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Workbooks for casualties and thefts.(p2)


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Publication 584 is available to help you make a list of your stolen or damaged personal-use property and figure your loss. It includes schedules to help you figure the loss on your home and its contents, and your motor vehicles.
Publication 584-B is available to help you make a list of your stolen or damaged business or income-producing property and figure your loss.
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Comments and suggestions.(p2)


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We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:

 
Internal Revenue Service 
Individual Forms and Publications Branch 
SE:W:CAR:MP:T:I 
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
Washington, DC 20224


We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at *taxforms@irs.gov. (The asterisk must be included in the address.) Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
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Ordering forms and publications.(p2)
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Visit www.irs.gov/formspubs to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

 
Internal Revenue Service 
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613


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Tax questions.(p2)
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If you have a tax question, check the information available on www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.

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Useful items

You may want to see:


Publication
 523 Selling Your Home
 525 Taxable and Nontaxable Income
 550 Investment Income and Expenses
 551 Basis of Assets
 584 Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property)
 584-B Business Casualty, Disaster, and  
Theft Loss Workbook

Form (and Instructions)
 Schedule A (Form 1040): Itemized Deductions
 Form 1040NR, Schedule A: Itemized Deductions (for nonresident aliens)
 Schedule D (Form 1040): Capital Gains and Losses
 Schedule L (Form 1040A or 1040): Standard Deduction for Certain Filers
 4684: Casualties and Thefts
 4797: Sales of Business Property
See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting publications and forms.
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Casualty(p2)


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previous topic occurrence Theft and Casualty Losses next topic occurrence

A casualty is the damage, destruction, or loss of property resulting from an identifiable event that is sudden, unexpected, or unusual.
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Deductible losses.(p2)


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Deductible casualty losses can result from a number of different causes, including the following.
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Nondeductible losses.(p2)


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A casualty loss is not deductible if the damage or destruction is caused by the following.
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Family pet.(p2)
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Loss of property due to damage by a family pet is not deductible as a casualty loss unless the requirements discussed earlier under Casualty are met.
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Example.(p2)

Your antique oriental rug was damaged by your new puppy before it was housebroken. Because the damage was not unexpected and unusual, the loss is not deductible as a casualty loss.
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Progressive deterioration.(p2)
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Loss of property due to progressive deterioration is not deductible as a casualty loss. This is because the damage results from a steadily operating cause or a normal process, rather than from a sudden event. The following are examples of damage due to progressive deterioration.