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Our lawn guy is here and we are going to have to replace our…

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Our lawn guy is here...
Our lawn guy is here and we are going to have to replace our lawn in the backyard because of Hurricane Harvey. Can that be taken as damage from Harvey the amount to replace our yard as a 4684 deduction (due to the Presidential disaster area)?
Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Tax
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The has to do with the IRS deduction https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-for-victims-of-hurricane-harvey-in-texas
Answered in 44 minutes by:
3/16/2018
Tax Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 1 month ago
emc011075
emc011075, Tax adviser
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3,597
Experience: IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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Hi. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

Land is generally not depreciable property, meaning for tax purposes land itself cannot lose value. However, if the damaged backyard reduced the value of the entire property than you can claim casualty loss, lower

- the difference between before and after Fair market value of the property OR

- actual expense.

For instance if the ruined backyard lowered fair market value of your entire house by 5K, you can claim 5K in casualty loss as long as the restoration will be more than 5K. It you pay 4K to restore it, than you can only deduct 4K.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Can you please provide IRS references of this, publications, code sections etc?
Tax Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 1 month ago
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Tax Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 1 month ago

Q: How does a taxpayer determine a casualty loss from damaged trees and other landscaping on personal-use residential property when that loss is attributable to a disaster?

A: In determining the amount of a casualty loss from damage to personal-use residential property, trees and other landscaping are considered part of the entire residential property, and are not valued separately or assigned a separate basis, even if purchased separately.

For residential property, damaged and destroyed trees and other landscaping may adversely affect the fair market value of the entire property by reducing the curb or overall appeal of the property.

One method of determining the decrease in fair market value is to compare an appraisal of the entire residential property, including trees and other landscaping, before the damage caused by the casualty to an appraisal of the entire residential property after the damage caused by the casualty, including damage to trees and other landscaping. Valuation of the damage to a tree by an arborist does not determine the decrease in fair market value of the entire property.

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Tax Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 1 month ago

Any questions?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
can you use the safe harbor method for this for harvey?
Tax Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 1 month ago

Safe harbor rule applies to real property like house, garage or warehouse for instance. You cannot value the backyard and the property separately. Basically you cannot claim casualty loss on backyard if you house located on the property did not suffer any losses.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Is that only for safe harbor? I'm confused. No damage to the house, just the yard. Can be loss be claimed?
Tax Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 1 month ago

Ok. We are going in circle. Did the value of the entire property dropped because of the ruined backyard?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
but the property wasn't damaged and you said up there you can't take the loss on the lawn if the house wasn't damaged
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
House wasn't damaged, yard was. Can a loss be taken? Yard cost a lot of money to fix, probably reducing value of entire property.
Tax Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 1 month ago

You can the a loss if the value of the entire property was reduced because of the damaged yard.

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Tax Professional: emc011075, Tax adviser replied 1 month ago

First you will have to get an appraisal to determine value of the property before and after. Than you can choose one of the safe harbor method and deduct actual cost of restoration as casualty as long as you are only restoring it to the original state. The restoration cannot increase value of the entire property.

Or you can use claim loss in fair market value - difference between before and after value.

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