Hurricane Irene has a lot of people talking. Unfortunately, a strong hurricane can lead to a lot of destruction. That raises the question, what sort of tax implications would such a storm have? As a CPA I have to tell you that unfortunately, you can not deduct normal preparation activities, such as placing plywood on windows, purchasing a generator, etc for your personal home. Rental or commercial property may be a different story. If you have a casualty theft or loss on your personal property you may have the availability of tax deductions. As always, the devil is in the details and I'll attempt to cover it as simply as possible.
You can typically deduct a casualty theft or loss as long as:
1) The loss exceeds 10% of your income.
2) You reduce the loss by $100.
3) The portion of the loss you claim is not covered by insurance.
Hopefully, we won't have to deal with any issues this year. I would much rather not deal with a storm then have to help people with the tax impacts of it. We'll keep our fingers crossed. More details on the topic can be found on irs.gov.