James Ian L.A. / Flickr Sayre Fire...
James Ian L.A. / Flickr

House Republicans have grown so vindictive they have abandoned basic fairness. They have decided that damage from the kinds of disasters (wildfires and earthquakes) most likely to occur in the West should NOT be tax deductible, (apparently to punish Americans on the West Coast for voting Democratic). Meanwhile damage from the recent Hurricanes will remain deductible for those red states of Texas and Florida. 


GOP tax bill would end deduction for wildfire and earthquake victims — but not recent hurricane victims

By Jim Puzzanghera

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.”

Even more frustrating to some California officials is the decision by Brady to grandfather in losses from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Brady’s district is just north of Houston, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey said that move “smacks of political favoritism.”

“Please, let’s not play politics with families who are suffering the very real impacts and challenges of recovering from this fire disaster,” Coursey wrote to Thompson in urging him to fight the tax change.

The deduction for personal casualty losses is one of many individual breaks that would be eliminated in the House Republican tax bill in an effort to streamline the tax code and produce more revenue to help offset cuts to corporate, business and individual rates.

So if a natural disaster destroys your home next year your loses won’t be tax deductible.

But chin up! You’ll be helping Equifax and their ilk avoid taxes like a good corporate serf. 

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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