By Jim Melican, GSAC Board Member
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On January 31, the U.S. House of Representatives, in a now atypical bipartisan vote, passed the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024. Although this legislation (H.R. 7024) dealt largely with the child tax credit, buried in its eighty-four pages is an eight-line provision titled the Federal Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2024 (section 402). For taxpayers affected by Hurricane Ian, that provision would eliminate the requirement that their casualty losses (which, for condo owners, could include special assessments) must exceed 10 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI) in order to qualify for the tax deduction. Additionally, it would allow taxpayers to claim the casualty loss deduction “above the line,” i.e., even if they did not itemize their deductions.

H.R. 7024 has now been passed over to the Senate for action, which must come during this legislative session i.e., before the end of this year. The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, has stated that he supports the bill, but some Republican Senate members who are focused largely on the child tax credit are balking at the cost of some of its provisions. In terms of timing, much will depend on whether the House-passed legislation will be first referred to the Finance Committee, where there will undoubtedly be amendments offered, or brought directly to the Senate floor for a vote. GSAC is continuing to follow this matter closely and will report on future developments. And if your ability to take a casualty loss for Hurricane Ian-related damages was negated by the 10% of AGI limitation, you should ask your tax accountant to monitor the Senate action on this legislation.