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The Center for Agroforestry

UMCA News Release

New guide from MU Center for Agroforestry aims to help forestland owners when disaster strikes their trees

Monday, November 30, 2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. - When fire, a wind storm, ice, vandalism, a flood or an earthquake hit your timberland, the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry has the information you need for tallying and reporting the loss.

Larry Godsey, Center economist, has penned the guide, "Understanding Casualty Loss of Timber," AFA 1014, to guide landowners through the process of determining a casualty loss tax deduction.

"One of the most common questions regarding tax treatment of timber has to do with casualty loss," Godsey said. "We hope this guide will answer this question by defining the major tax concepts involved in determining a casualty loss deduction; it aims to make the process a little more straightforward."

Godsey outlines concepts including adjusted basis and fair market value, then takes readers through two scenarios involving casualty loss. He includes sample tax forms and shows how to fill them out according to each scenario.

In addition, Godsey explains what constitutes a casualty loss - it?s not just any loss of timber. Losses due to progressive deterioration, such as fungus, diseases, insects, worms or similar pests, are not typically considered casualty losses because they are not sudden, unexpected or unusual, he said.

The new guide is available both online and in print. Go to to see and print the guide in PDF, or contact Michelle Hall, MU Center for Agroforestry senior information specialist, at to order a copy. The publication also can be printed and/or ordered at

For more information on casualty losses in timber, contact your local tax accountant or see the National Timber Tax Web site at

Michelle Hall
Senior Information Specialist
Center for Agroforestry University of Missouri

Larry Godsey, 573-884-3216

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