Landscape Casualty Loss Claims-What You Need to Know

snow damage

February’s record setting severe winter storm brought snow, sleet and freezing rain, along with temperatures in the teens and wind chills into the single digits and below zero in some areas. Unfortunately, these conditions possibly caused devastating damage to trees and other landscaping on your property. While most home insurance policies will not cover damages to trees and landscaping, you may be able to recover your cost of cleaning up and restoring your trees and landscaping by filing a casualty loss on your tax return.

You should keep record of all expenses related to tree removal, clean up and restoring your landscaping back to its pre-storm condition. Discuss these expenses and any insurance reimbursements with your tax advisor, as there are several methods for determining the amount of deductible casualty loss related to your property damage.

Since the winter storm was declared a federal disaster, it is possible you could claim a casualty loss on your personal income tax return in the year of the declared disaster, or the preceding year. This means the cost of restoring landscaping to pre-disaster conditions can be recovered by filing a casualty loss on your 2020 personal tax return, which is due June 15, 2021, or your 2021 personal tax return, which will be due April 15, 2022.

Contact a Melton & Melton tax advisor at 281.759.1120 or email us if you have any questions or concerns regarding a casualty loss related to your home or property as a result of the winter storm.