We have received several questions from South Carolina clients about whether they may claim a deduction for personal losses attributable to Hurricane Dorian in 2019.  The short answer is no.  For tax year 2019, personal casualty losses (for example: losses due to damage from a hurricane) are deductible only if attributable to a federally-declared disaster.  Furthermore, the loss must occur in a state that has been declared a federal disaster area.  It is not enough to be in a county that receives federal aid.  These disasters are listed on the FEMA website (www.fema.gov).  In 2019, Florida was declared a disaster area due to Hurricane Dorian, but South Carolina was not.  Therefore, residents of South Carolina cannot take a tax deduction for losses due to the hurricane (although businesses may deduct any business losses).  Taxpayers do not need to itemize in order to claim disaster losses.  Also, if you are able to claim a disaster loss, it must be reduced by any actual or expected insurance reimbursement on your tax return.