Dec 18
1:35 PM

Get Drunk, Crash the Truck, Deduct the Loss

A couple months ago, this Blog reported that the IRS would not allow a deduction for the arguably noble gesture of allowing your home to be burnt to the ground to facilitate practice for your local fire department.  We are now chagrined to report that for the arguably ignoble gesture of getting drunk and running your truck off the road, you may be able to deduct the value of the truck as a casualty loss under IRC Sec. 165.  That's what happened to a California man, according to the Wall Street Journal.  And the U.S. Tax Court backed him up in Rohrs v. Comm'r, T.C. Summary Opinion 2009-190.  The judge said that the statute allows the deduction except in cases of "willful negligence," which neither the IRC nor the underlying regulations define.  Take a look at the facts and circumstances as recounted in the opinion before jumping to a conclusion on the validity of the judge's reasoning.  And, before taking this as a license to party, keep in mind that pursuant to IRC Sec. 7463(b), the opinion "may not be treated as precedent for any other case."

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