A casualty loss is a type of tax loss that is a sudden, unexpected, or unusual event. Damage or loss resulting from progressive deterioration of property through a steadily operating cause would not be a casualty loss. “Other casualty” are events similar to “fire, storm, or shipwreck.” It is generally held that wherever force is applied to property which the owner-taxpayer is either unaware of because of the hidden nature of such application or is powerless to act to prevent the same because of the suddenness thereof or some other disability and damage results.
In the United States, tax deductions are allowed for casualty losses under 26 U.S.C. § 165 which allows deductions for losses sustained during the taxable year and not compensated for by insurance or otherwise. Such deductions are limited under 26 U.S.C. § 165(h)(2) to the amount personal casualty losses exceed personal casualty gains plus 10 percent of the adjusted gross income of the individual within the taxable year. Additionally, under 26 U.S.C. § 165(h)(1) individual taxpayers are only allowed to include losses to the extent they exceed $100 for each casualty. In addition, the deduction is limited to those losses sustained during the taxable year and not compensated by insurance, or otherwise.
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