firefighters train at a tear down

The IRS on Donating Tear Downs to the Fire Department

The time of year when we turn our attention to charitable tax deductions. I have known several property owners who have enjoyed the benefits of donating their tear down to the local Fire Department for training purposes and enjoying a sizable tax deduction.

As you can imagine, a lot of work goes into preparing a house to be burned down. Vegetation has to be removed from the home, windows removed, a detailed inspection by environmental authorities and of course a professional appraisal of the market value of the improvements to be burned down.  And although the burn down is free, the homeowner is responsible for clearing away the debris after the event.

While the tax break has been around for decades, there has been a surge in the number of people taking advantage of these very attractive tax benefits and the IRS is out to bring it to and end.  If you have been thinking about going down this road, you might like to read this article by Forbes just for starters to check the IRS’s temperature on the topic.

In the event that you are going to demolish your home there are many ways to put the debris and materials to good use.  After a home is disassembled, the building materials typically go to nonprofit building centers, which aggregate the goods and then sell them to nonprofits and directly to the public. Everything from nails, carpet, copper wire, toilets, tubs, faucets, switch boxes and more can also be recycled. The only materials that defy deconstruction are generally a home’s insulation, which can’t be reused, and stucco, which ends up in the landfill.

In the San Francisco Bay area the ReUse People in Oakland, can be extremely helpful. Homeowners or their contractors can simply bring the materials to the centers, and get a receipt for their taxes. There’s also the Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley that aims to use deconstructed materials in the homes it builds. It also resells used building materials, which nets the organization $250,000 a year.

If you are looking to buy the perfect teardown to build your dream luxury home, estate, vineyard or winery in Napa Valley or any of the surrounding communities, please call me at 707-738-4820 or email me at [email protected]. Please be sure to LIKE me on Facebook so you can stay informed too!

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