Publication 547

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Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts

Overview

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.

  • Definitions of a casualty, theft, and loss on deposits.
  • How to figure the amount of your gain or loss.
  • How to treat insurance and other reimbursements you receive.
  • The deduction limits.
  • When and how to report a casualty or theft.
  • The special rules for disaster area losses.

Forms to file. When you have a casualty or theft, you have to file Form 4684. You will also have to file one or more of the following forms.

  • Schedule A (Form 1040)
  • Schedule D (Form 1040)
  • Form 4797

For details on which form to use, see How To Report Gains and Losses, later.

Condemnations. For information on condemnations of property, see Involuntary Conversions in chapter 1 of Publication 544.

Workbooks for casualties and thefts. 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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