Senator: IRS says homeowners with damage from Chinese drywall may be eligible for tax deduction
July 10, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to a letter by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the Internal Revenue Service has declared that residents whose homes have been severely damaged by Chinese drywall may qualify for special tax deductions.
Homeowners may be able to claim a casualty loss on their tax returns if they have Chinese drywall that emits an unusual or severe concentration of chemical fumes that causes extreme and unusual damage, the IRS told Nelson in a letter.
Generally, the amount of such a deduction is the difference between the value of the house before and after the sudden, unexpected or unusual event causing the damage. In other words, qualifying taxpayers may be eligible to claim tens of thousands of dollars on their tax returns for the damage Chinese drywall has caused them.
Tainted Chinese drywall has been found in homes in abundance in Florida and also in 20 other states. It contains materials suspected of corroding electrical wiring and components of air-conditioning and other household appliances.
The drywall also is linked to health problems for homeowners and their families, including respiratory problems and insomnia. Some homeowners have been forced to relocate and pay for a new home in addition to the mortgage on their tainted house.
“This is coming as some relief to these families,” Nelson said today. “Considering the terrible circumstances they have had to endure, it’s only right that they are given special consideration.”
While the majority of reports about Chinese drywall come from Florida, Louisiana and Virginia, problems have proved to be widespread with reports coming from 18 other states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ( CPSC ), which began investigating in February at Nelson’s request.
The CSPC also revealed new concerns that drywall fumes not only corrode air conditioners, but other appliances such as refrigerators and stoves. It is checking into reports that corrosion can lead to fires. Read more about problems with imported drywall here.