The House Republican tax bill would eliminate the deduction for personal losses from wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters, but keep the break for victims of the recent severe hurricanes.
If the bill becomes law, the deduction would disappear next year, but would be available for victims of the massive wildfires that struck Northern California last month — as long as they can figure out their uninsured losses and include them on their 2017 tax return.
The legislation specifically repeals the deduction for personal casualty losses. The Internal Revenue Service describes casualty losses as including those from “natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. It can also include losses from fires, accidents, thefts or vandalism.”
In the case of a major disaster, Congress still would be able to pass special legislation offering tax breaks for victims, as it has done in the past.
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