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Old 05-06-2013, 06:06 PM
nativewolf nativewolf is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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tax question

Does anyone know if I can claim a loss if I loose a large nursery due to beetles? I put a contract to buy a nursery but I've just noticed beetle damage. If I put a value of say 200,000 on the trees but they are all dead next year what does the tax man say about my loss?
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:11 PM
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JB1 JB1 is online now
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I think I would go talk to a tax pro.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:27 PM
rlitman rlitman is offline
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I'm not an expert, but I looked into this once for a similar situation.
What I found was that the commercial value of the trees isn't necessarily what your deductible loss is.
The trees have no value unless bought or sold, so since they're in the ground, you can't just pull a number out of your rear end.

Since the trees are part of the property, you need to calculate the "basis" loss. This is based on the value of the property before and after the loss, and you would want appraisals from both before and after to back this up. Then, the amount you can deduct is also limited, and like the medical deduction, there is a minimum part that you cannot even deduct at all.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:41 PM
nativewolf nativewolf is offline
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Originally Posted by JB1 View Post
I think I would go talk to a tax pro.
Right, I am waiting on his call. However, I know the timber investment business a bit better and I know that if I could call it a timber stand I'd be able to say the trees had a certain basis and call it a loss. I don't know for these landscape trees.
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