Publication 547 - Introductory Material


Future developments.  For the latest information about developments related to Publication 547, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to

Photographs of missing children. The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.


This publication explains the tax treatment of casualties, thefts, and losses on deposits. A casualty occurs when your property is damaged as a result of a disaster such as a storm, fire, car accident, or similar event. A theft occurs when someone steals your property. A loss on deposits occurs when your financial institution becomes insolvent or bankrupt.

This publication discusses the following topics.

  • Definitions of a casualty, theft, and loss on deposits.

  • How to figure the amount of your gain or loss.

  • How to treat insurance and other reimbursements you receive.

  • The deduction limits.

  • When and how to report a casualty or theft.

  • The special rules for disaster area losses.

Forms to file.   Generally, when you have a casualty or theft, you have to file Form 4684. You may also have to file one or more of the following forms.
  • Schedule A (Form 1040).

  • Form 1040NR, Schedule A (for nonresident aliens).

  • Schedule D.

  • Form 4797.

For details on which form to use, see How To Report Gains and Losses , later.

Condemnations.   For information on condemnations of property, see Involuntary Conversions in chapter 1 of Publication 544, Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets.

Workbooks for casualties and thefts.   Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property), is available to help you make a list of your stolen or damaged personal-use property and figure your loss. It includes schedules to help you figure the loss on your home and its contents, and your motor vehicles.

  Publication 584-B, Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook, is available to help you make a list of your stolen or damaged business or income-producing property and figure your loss.

Comments and suggestions.    We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.

  You can send us comments from Click on “More Information” and then on “Give us feedback.

  Or you can write to:

Internal Revenue Service 
Tax Forms and Publications 
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
Washington, DC 20224

  We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.

  Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.

Ordering forms and publications.    Visit to download forms and publications. Otherwise, you can go to to order forms or call 1-800-829-3676 to order current and prior-year forms and instructions. Your order should arrive within 10 business days.

Tax questions.    If you have a tax question, check the information available on or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to the above address.

Useful Items - You may want to see:


  • 523 Selling Your Home

  • 525 Taxable and Nontaxable Income

  • 550 Investment Income and Expenses

  • 551 Basis of Assets

  • 584 Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbook (Personal-Use Property)

  • 584-B Business Casualty, Disaster, and  
    Theft Loss Workbook

Form (and Instructions)

  • Schedule A (Form 1040) Itemized Deductions

  • Form 1040NR, Schedule A Itemized Deductions (for nonresident aliens)

  • Schedule D (Form 1040) Capital Gains and Losses

  • 4684 Casualties and Thefts

  • 4797 Sales of Business Property

See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting publications and forms.

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