With 2011’s brutal winter, and then its summer storms, many landscape contractors found themselves cutting up or removing customers’ downed and severely damaged trees. With the April 17th income tax filing deadline fast approaching, tax professionals remind us that property owners may take a casualty deduction for tree losses.
If a property owner’s tree has sustained at least 50% damage, it may be claimed as a total loss. Trees with less than 50% damage can be claimed based on the percentage of the damage or loss. Property owners may need to document the loss; before-and-after photographs can serve as documentation. If you have no “before” photos, dig around in old family photos or even go to the Google Earth archive.
Since grown trees can be worth tens of thousands of dollars, it is worth the hard work to investigate this tax deduction.