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Wallstreet Esq.
Wallstreet Esq., Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 17223
Experience:  10 years experience
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I was a victim of identity theft and paid money for shares

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I was a victim of identity theft and paid money for shares in a company which turned out to be a scam, can i claim this loss in my tax return?

Wallstreet Esq. :

Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification.

Wallstreet Esq. :

If you have the police report, and can prove that you were the victim of such a loss,

Wallstreet Esq. :

you can claim a tax deduction.

Wallstreet Esq. :

According to the IRS, “a theft is the taking and removing of money or property with the intent to deprive the owner of it. The taking of property must be illegal under the law of the state where it occurred and it must have been done with criminal intent.”

Wallstreet Esq. :

individuals are required to claim their casualty and theft losses as an itemized deduction on Form 1040, Schedule A (PDF) (or Form 1040NR, Schedule A (PDF), if you are a nonresident alien). For property held by you for personal use, once you have subtracted any salvage value and any insurance or other reimbursement, you must subtract $100 from each casualty or theft event that occurred during the year. Then add up all those amounts and subtract 10% of your adjusted gross income from that total to calculate your allowable casualty and theft losses for the year.


Casualty and theft losses are reported on Form 4684 (PDF), Casualties and Thefts. Section A is used for personal-use property, and Section B is used for business or income-producing property. If personal-use property was damaged, destroyed or stolen, you may wish to refer toPublication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property). For losses involving business-use property, refer toPublication 584B (PDF), Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook.


Casualty losses are generally deductible in the year the casualty occurred. However, if you have a casualty loss from a federally declared disaster that occurred in an area warranting public or individual assistance (or both), you can choose to treat the loss as having occurred in the year immediately preceding the tax year in which the disaster happened, and you can deduct the loss on your return or amended return for that preceding tax year. Review Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses on IRS.gov, for information regarding timeframes and additional information to your specific qualifying event.


Theft losses are generally deductible in the year you discover the property was stolen unless you have a reasonable prospect of recovery through a claim for reimbursement. In that case, no deduction is available until the taxable year in which it can be determined with reasonable certainty whether or not such reimbursement will be received.


If your loss deduction is more than your income, you may have a net operating loss. You do not have to be in business to have a net operating loss from a casualty. For more information, refer to Publication 536, Net Operating Losses for Individuals, Estates, and Trusts.

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