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Elliot Pisem and David E. Kahen Elliot Pisem and David E. Kahen

Although the Internal Revenue Code (Code) has long allowed a deduction for losses attributable to theft and casualty, claims for the deduction of such losses are often challenged and sometimes disallowed. Even where it is undisputed that a theft occurred, and the amount of the loss is also clear, a deduction for theft under Code §165 may be disallowed if the loss was not claimed in the appropriate year. McNely v. Commissioner (TC Memo 2019-39), a recent Tax Court memorandum decision discussed below, sustained an IRS determination that no theft loss was allowable, and provides some useful lessons as to traps for the unwary in this context.

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