I suffered property loss (contents, not house) due to Hurricane Harvey above and beyond my flood insurance coverage. Given the tax law changes around Harvey in December 2017 I know I can deduct most of that surplus amount of loss, even with a standard deduction (which I usually take).

A few questions:

  • Can I deduct ancillary expenses to the disaster, like staying in a hotel room, moving expenses out of my old home and into my new one, storage expenses? Or can I only deduct actual flood losses?

  • Can I use the insurance assessor's summary of the lost amount, which shows their estimate of the total amount lost, plus the amount of what they reimbursed me? In other words, can I enter a single line summarizing the loss, backed up by the insurance assessor's multipage summary of the lost contents? Or do I need to enter each item (there are hundreds) line by line in Form 4684?

  • Will I no longer be able to electronically file my return? H&R Block Tax Cut appears to be saying I have to print out my return.

Thank you!

  • If this is too much to deal with in the next 28 hours, you can kick the can down the road. If IRS will owe you money, there is no penalty for filing late. Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 0:00
  • Yes, I figure I'll just file an extension.
    – bshor
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 2:28
  • in fact what I've discovered is the 4868 extension form is nothing more than a carrier for the payment coupon if you owe money. I occasionally either failed to file 4868 or filed >6mo later, and they have never said boo about it. They have said boo about other things... Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 15:06


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