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There’s no tax write-off for letting a fire department burn down your house, an Appeals Court says. 

This situation commonly arises when a homeowner wants to demolish an existing residence and build a new home on the same spot.  Giving a firefighters practice exercise in burning it down serves the public good.  But to get a tax deduction, the homeowner must show that the value of the donation exceeded the value of the demolition services provided.  In this case, since the house had to be destroyed anyway, its value was negligible and didn’t exceed the value of the demolition services…worth $10,000…that the owners received (Rolfs, 7th Cir.).

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