There are a number of reasons that you might need to remove a tree. Perhaps it has died and is in danger of falling on your home or area power lines. Sometimes a tree has gotten too big, and despite your efforts to prune it, the only solution is to remove the whole thing. If a tree is leaning or looks diseased, removal may be the right solution as well.
Whatever your reasons for removing your trees here in St. Louis, MO, it can be a very expensive undertaking. There are a number of things that you can do to reduce those costs. Here are some of the most common questions homeowners have when they’ve decided to remove a tree.
Will Insurance Cover the Tree Removal?
Firstly, insurance companies do generally recommend that you hire a professional tree removal company because the job is potentially dangerous and could cause damage to your home if done incorrectly.
Will the insurance company pay to have your tree removed? The short answer to this question is- it depends. Usually, homeowner’s insurance will not cover tree removal for a tree that has not yet fallen on your home. The reason being is that they require the homeowner to do the necessary maintenance. So even if a tree is diseased or seems like it might pose a danger of falling, they won’t cover it.
Let’s say that a tree fell on your home and caused damage. In most cases, insurance would pay to repair that damage and to remove the tree. If a tree fell elsewhere in your yard, for example, and didn’t cause any damage to your home, then removing that tree is at a cost to you.
Can I Claim Tree Removal on My Taxes?
If the property from which you removed the tree is a rental property, and the tree poses a threat to your tenants and the home, you are allowed (generally) to count this as an expense. In this case, it can be tax deductible.
However, if the tree that you remove is part of your personal residence, then no, that isn’t usually tax deductible (but there are exceptions. Read on below for more clarification on that topic).
Tax information can vary depending on an individual’s situation, so it is always wise to consult a professional for the most accurate information.
Is Tree Removal Considered a Home Improvement?
In many cases, home improvements can be tax deductible. We’ve already determined that in most cases, tree removal is not eligible for tax reduction on your personal residence. But what if the removal is classified under landscaping, as part of an improvement to your home?
Home improvements are considered “capital improvements,” which means that you are usually eligible for a tax break. There is an important distinction here; a home improvement is considered a project that increases a home’s value (which is tax deductible); repairs and maintenance to a home are not considered to raise a home’s value, so are not eligible for tax deductions.
If your tree removal is part of a capital improvement to your home (which outside is usually a patio, walkway, deck, etc.), then you can often claim it as a tax expense.
The above is our understanding of these issues but please consult your tax or legal advisors before moving forward.