As California burns, Congress is planning to limit taxpayers’ ability to write off losses from future wildfires and other disasters.
The disaster write-off is one of the many little-known deductions set to be mostly wiped out in the GOP tax plan, but it’s getting fresh attention because of the fires that have devastated parts of Southern California over the last week.
The House tax bill entirely eliminates the deduction that allows people to claim uninsured losses after all types of disasters; the Senate version allows people to take the deduction only if the president declares a federal disaster.
So far this year, nearly 58,000 wildfires have burned more than 9 million acres in the U.S., according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Only a small number would qualify taxpayers for relief under the Senate bill.
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