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My sister was in the process of building a house, and in doing so she put down $5000.00 non-refundable dollars. Three months in her husband's company downsized, so they can't afford the house. The building informed her that he would refund her money but she totally customized the house so he has to take a lost, or at least that what he is saying.

I told her that I didn't see why she couldn't write the $5000.00 off on her taxes, considing it as a lost, or a donation to the building since she didn't totally receive the service she paid for. Is that something she can do, or is she just out $5000.00???

She's out $5,000. You can't deduct the loss on a personal residence, even if you didn't finish building it.

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