If you receive an insurance payment or other reimbursement that is more than your adjusted basis in the destroyed, damaged, or stolen property, you have a gain from the casualty or theft. Your gain is figured as follows.
- The amount you receive (discussed next), minus
- Your adjusted basis in the property at the time of the casualty or theft. See Adjusted Basis, earlier, for information on adjusted basis.
Even if the decrease in FMV of your property is smaller than the adjusted basis of your property, use your adjusted basis to figure the gain. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225346
The amount you receive includes any money plus the value of any property you receive minus any expenses you have in obtaining reimbursement. It also includes any reimbursement used to pay off a mortgage or other lien on the damaged, destroyed, or stolen property. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225347
A hurricane destroyed your personal residence and the insurance company awarded you $145,000. You received $140,000 in cash. The remaining $5,000 was paid directly to the holder of a mortgage on the property. The amount you received includes the $5,000 reimbursement paid on the mortgage.taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225348
If you have a gain because your main home was destroyed, you generally can exclude the gain from your income as if you had sold or exchanged your home. You may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain (up to $500,000 if married filing jointly). To exclude a gain, you generally must have owned and lived in the property as your main home for at least 2 years during the 5-year period ending on the date it was destroyed. For information on this exclusion, see Publication 523. If your gain is more than the amount you can exclude, but you buy replacement property, you may be able to postpone reporting the excess gain. See Postponement of Gain,
You generally must report your gain as income in the year you receive the reimbursement. However, you do not have to report your gain if you meet certain requirements and choose to postpone reporting the gain according to the rules explained under Postponement of Gain, next.
If you have a casualty or theft gain on personal-use property that you choose to postpone reporting (as explained next) and you also have another casualty or theft loss on personal-use property, do not consider the gain you are postponing when figuring your casualty or theft loss deduction. See 10% Rule
under Deduction Limits, earlier.
Do not report a gain if you receive reimbursement in the form of property similar or related in service or use to the destroyed or stolen property. Your basis in the new property is generally the same as your adjusted basis in the property it replaces.
You must ordinarily report the gain on your stolen or destroyed property if you receive money or unlike property as reimbursement. However, you can choose to postpone reporting the gain if you purchase property that is similar or related in service or use to the stolen or destroyed property within a specified replacement period, discussed later. You also can choose to postpone reporting the gain if you purchase a controlling interest (at least 80%) in a corporation owning property that is similar or related in service or use to the property. See Controlling interest in a corporation,
If you have a gain on damaged property, you can postpone reporting the gain if you spend the reimbursement to restore the property.
To postpone reporting all the gain, the cost of your replacement property must be at least as much as the reimbursement you receive. If the cost of the replacement property is less than the reimbursement, you must include the gain in your income up to the amount of the unspent reimbursement. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225356
In 1970, you bought an oceanfront cottage for your personal use at a cost of $18,000. You made no further improvements or additions to it. When a storm destroyed the cottage this January, the cottage was worth $250,000. You received $146,000 from the insurance company in March. You had a gain of $128,000 ($146,000 − $18,000).
You spent $144,000 to rebuild the cottage. Since this is less than the insurance proceeds received, you must include $2,000 ($146,000 − $144,000) in your income.taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225357
You cannot postpone reporting a gain from a casualty or theft if you buy the replacement property from a related person (discussed later). This rule applies to the following taxpayers.
- C corporations.
- Partnerships in which more than 50% of the capital or profits interest is owned by C corporations.
- All others (including individuals, partnerships — other than those in (2) — and S corporations) if the total realized gain for the tax year on all destroyed or stolen properties on which there are realized gains is more than $100,000.
For casualties and thefts described in (3) above, gains cannot be offset by any losses when determining whether the total gain is more than $100,000. If the property is owned by a partnership, the $100,000 limit applies to the partnership and each partner. If the property is owned by an S corporation, the $100,000 limit applies to the S corporation and each shareholder.
This rule does not apply if the related person acquired the property from an unrelated person within the period of time allowed for replacing the destroyed or stolen property. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225359
Under this rule, related persons include, for example, a parent and child, a brother and sister, a corporation and an individual who owns more than 50% of its outstanding stock, and two partnerships in which the same C corporations own more than 50% of the capital or profits interests. For more information on related persons, see Nondeductible Loss under Sales and Exchanges Between Related Persons in chapter 2 of Publication 544.taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225360
If a taxpayer dies after having a gain but before buying replacement property, the gain must be reported for the year in which the decedent realized the gain. The executor of the estate or the person succeeding to the funds from the casualty or theft cannot postpone reporting the gain by buying replacement property. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225361
You must buy replacement property for the specific purpose of replacing your destroyed or stolen property. Property you acquire as a gift or inheritance does not qualify.
You do not have to use the same funds you receive as reimbursement for your old property to acquire the replacement property. If you spend the money you receive from the insurance company for other purposes, and borrow money to buy replacement property, you can still postpone reporting the gain if you meet the other requirements. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225362
If you pay a contractor in advance to replace your destroyed or stolen property, you are not considered to have bought replacement property unless it is finished before the end of the replacement period. See Replacement Period,
Replacement property must be similar or related in service or use to the property it replaces. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225365
Standing timber you bought with the proceeds from the sale of timber downed by a casualty (such as high winds, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions) qualifies as replacement property. If you bought the standing timber within the specified replacement period, you can postpone reporting the gain. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225366
If you are an owner-user, similar or related in service or use means that replacement property must function in the same way as the property it replaces. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225367
Your home was destroyed by fire and you invested the insurance proceeds in a grocery store. Your replacement property is not similar or related in service or use to the destroyed property. To be similar or related in service or use, your replacement property must also be used by you as your home.taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225368
Special rules apply to replacement property related to the damage or destruction of your main home (or its contents) if located in a federally declared disaster area. For more information, see Gains Realized on Homes in Disaster Areas in the Instructions for Form 4684.taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225369
If you are an owner-investor, similar or related in service or use means that any replacement property must have a similar relationship of services or uses to you as the property it replaces. You decide this by determining all the following.
- Whether the properties are of similar service to you.
- The nature of the business risks connected with the properties.
- What the properties demand of you in the way of management, service, and relations to your tenants.
You owned land and a building you rented to a manufacturing company. The building was destroyed by fire. During the replacement period, you had a new building constructed. You rented out the new building for use as a wholesale grocery warehouse. Because the replacement property is also rental property, the two properties are considered similar or related in service or use if there is a similarity in all the following areas.
- Your management activities.
- The amount and kind of services you provide to your tenants.
- The nature of your business risks connected with the properties.
If your destroyed business or income-producing property was located in a federally declared disaster area, any tangible replacement property you acquire for use in any business is treated as similar or related in service or use to the destroyed property. For more information, see Disaster Area Losses,
You can replace property by acquiring a controlling interest in a corporation that owns property similar or related in service or use to your damaged, destroyed, or stolen property. You can postpone reporting your entire gain if the cost of the stock that gives you a controlling interest is at least as much as the amount received (reimbursement) for your property. You have a controlling interest if you own stock having at least 80% of the combined voting power of all classes of voting stock and at least 80% of the total number of shares of all other classes of stock. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225374
The basis of property held by the corporation at the time you acquired control must be reduced by the amount of your postponed gain, if any. You are not required to reduce the adjusted basis of the corporation's properties below your adjusted basis in the corporation's stock (determined after reduction by the amount of your postponed gain).
Allocate this reduction to the following classes of property in the order shown below.
- Property that is similar or related in service or use to the destroyed or stolen property.
- Depreciable property not reduced in (1).
- All other property.
If two or more properties fall in the same class, allocate the reduction to each property in proportion to the adjusted bases of all the properties in that class. The reduced basis of any single property cannot be less than zero.
If your gain from the reimbursement you receive because of the destruction of your main home is more than the amount you can exclude from your income (see Main home destroyed
under Figuring a Gain,
earlier), you can postpone reporting the excess gain by buying replacement property that is similar or related in service or use. To postpone reporting all the excess gain, the replacement property must cost at least as much as the amount you received because of the destruction minus the excluded gain.
Also, if you postpone reporting any part of your gain under these rules, you are treated as having owned and used the replacement property as your main home for the period you owned and used the destroyed property as your main home. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225377
You must reduce the basis of your replacement property (its cost) by the amount of postponed gain. In this way, tax on the gain is postponed until you dispose of the replacement property. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225378
A fire destroyed your rental home that you never lived in. The insurance company reimbursed you $67,000 for the property, which had an adjusted basis of $62,000. You had a gain of $5,000 from the casualty. If you have another rental home constructed for $110,000 within the replacement period, you can postpone reporting the gain. You will have reinvested all the reimbursement (including your entire gain) in the new rental home. Your basis for the new rental home will be $105,000 ($110,000 cost − $5,000 postponed gain).taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225379
To postpone reporting your gain, you must buy replacement property within a specified period of time. This is the replacement period.
The replacement period begins on the date your property was damaged, destroyed, or stolen.
The replacement period ends 2 years after the close of the first tax year in which any part of your gain is realized. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225380
You are a calendar year taxpayer. While you were on vacation, a valuable piece of antique furniture that cost $2,200 was stolen from your home. You discovered the theft when you returned home on August 10, 2009. Your insurance company investigated the theft and did not settle your claim until January 4, 2010, when they paid you $3,000. You first realized a gain from the reimbursement for the theft during 2010, so you have until December 31, 2012, to replace the property.taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225381
For your main home (or its contents) located in a federally declared disaster area, the replacement period generally ends 4 years after the close of the first tax year in which any part of your gain is realized. See Disaster Area Losses,
You are a calendar year taxpayer. A hurricane destroyed your home in September 2009. In December 2009, the insurance company paid you $3,000 more than the adjusted basis of your home. The area in which your home is located is not a federally declared disaster area. You first realized a gain from the reimbursement for the casualty in 2009, so you have until December 31, 2011, to replace the property. If your home had been in a federally declared disaster area, you would have until December 31, 2013, to replace the property.taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225384
For property located in a Midwestern disaster area (defined in Table 4 in the 2008 Publication 547) that was destroyed, damaged, or stolen as a result of severe storms, tornadoes, or flooding, the replacement period ends 5 years after the close of the first tax year in which any part of your gain is realized. This 5-year replacement period applies only if substantially all of the use of the replacement property is in a Midwestern disaster area. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225385
For property located in the Kansas disaster area that was destroyed, damaged, or stolen after May 3, 2007, as a result of storms and tornadoes, the replacement period ends 5 years after the close of the first tax year in which any part of your gain is realized. This 5-year replacement period applies only if substantially all of the use of the replacement property is in the Kansas disaster area.taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225386
For property located in the Hurricane Katrina disaster area that was destroyed, damaged, or stolen after August 24, 2005, as a result of Hurricane Katrina, the replacement period ends 5 years after the close of the first tax year in which any part of your gain is realized. This 5-year replacement period applies only if substantially all of the use of the replacement property is in the Hurricane Katrina disaster area. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225387
You can apply for an extension of the replacement period. Send your written application to the Internal Revenue Service Center where you file your tax return. See your tax return instructions for the address. Your application must contain all the details about the need for the extension. You should make the application before the end of the replacement period.
However, you can file an application within a reasonable time after the replacement period ends if you have a good reason for the delay. An extension may be granted if you can show that there is reasonable cause for not making the replacement within the regular period.
Ordinarily, requests for extensions are not made or granted until near the end of the replacement period or the extended replacement period. Extensions are usually limited to a period of not more than 1 year. The high market value or scarcity of replacement property is not sufficient grounds for granting an extension. If your replacement property is being constructed and you clearly show that the construction cannot be completed within the replacement period, you may be granted an extension of the period.
Table 3. When To Deduct a Casualty or Theft Loss
| IF you have a loss... || || THEN deduct it in the year... |
| from a casualty || ||the loss occurred.|
| in a federally declared disaster area || ||the disaster occurred or the year immediately|
before the disaster.
| from a theft || ||the theft was discovered.|
| on a deposit treated as a casualty || || a reasonable estimate can be made.|
You postpone reporting your gain from a casualty or theft by reporting your choice on your tax return for the year you have the gain. You have the gain in the year you receive insurance proceeds or other reimbursements that result in a gain.
If a partnership or a corporation owns the stolen or destroyed property, only the partnership or corporation can choose to postpone reporting the gain. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225391
You should attach a statement to your return for the year you have the gain. This statement should include the following.
- The date and details of the casualty or theft.
- The insurance or other reimbursement you received from the casualty or theft.
- How you figured the gain.
If you acquire replacement property before you file your return for the year you have the gain, your statement should also include detailed information about all of the following.
- The replacement property.
- The postponed gain.
- The basis adjustment that reflects the postponed gain.
- Any gain you are reporting as income.
If you intend to acquire replacement property after you file your return for the year in which you have the gain, your statement should also state that you are choosing to replace the property within the required replacement period.
You should then attach another statement to your return for the year in which you acquire the replacement property. This statement should contain detailed information on the replacement property.
If you acquire part of your replacement property in one year and part in another year, you must make a statement for each year. The statement should contain detailed information on the replacement property bought in that year. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225394
Once you have acquired qualified replacement property that you designate as replacement property in a statement attached to your tax return, you cannot later substitute other qualified replacement property. This is true even if you acquire the other property within the replacement period. However, if you discover that the original replacement property was not qualified replacement property, you can (within the replacement period) substitute the new qualified replacement property. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225395
You must file an amended return (individuals use Form 1040X) for the tax year of the gain in either of the following situations.
- You do not acquire replacement property within the required replacement period plus extensions. On this amended return, you must report the gain and pay any additional tax due.
- You acquire replacement property within the required replacement period plus extensions, but at a cost less than the amount you receive for the casualty or theft. On this amended return, you must report the portion of the gain that cannot be postponed and pay any additional tax due.
The period for assessing tax on any gain ends 3 years after the date you notify the director of the Internal Revenue Service for your area of any of the following.
- You replaced the property.
- You do not intend to replace the property.
- You did not replace the property within the replacement period.
You can change your mind about whether to report or to postpone reporting your gain at any time before the end of the replacement period. taxmap/pubs/p547-006.htm#en_us_publink1000225398
Your property was stolen in 2008. Your insurance company reimbursed you $10,000, of which $5,000 was a gain. You reported the $5,000 gain on your return for 2008 (the year you realized the gain) and paid the tax due. In 2009 you bought replacement property. Your replacement property cost $9,000. Since you reinvested all but $1,000 of your reimbursement, you can now postpone reporting $4,000 ($5,000 − $1,000) of your gain.
To postpone reporting your gain, file an amended return for 2008 using Form 1040X. You should attach an explanation showing that you previously reported the entire gain from the theft but you now want to report only the part of the gain ($1,000) equal to the part of the reimbursement not spent for replacement property.