WASHINGTON, D.C. — – Homeowners stuck with tainted Chinese drywall could be eligible for big tax breaks.
The Internal Revenue Service said Thursday it would consider granting a tax deduction for homeowners who can prove they have suffered “sudden, unusual and unexpected” damage because of the building material.
In a market where many houses are already depreciating in value or even facing foreclosure, houses that have defective drywall are being rendered valueless, exacerbating the current housing crisis. Houses with defective drywall may even depress the property value of adjacent homes. One estimate is that the cost of remediation might be around $100,000 per home.
How do I know if I have “Chinese drywall”?
- There is a presence of sulfur-like or other unusual odors
- Confirmed presence of Chinese manufactured drywall in the home
- Observed copper corrosion, indicated by black, sooty coating of un-insulated copper pipe leading to the air handling unit present in the garage or mechanical closet of a home
- Documented failure of air conditioner evaporator coil (located inside the air handling unit)
- Confirmation by an outside expert or professional for the presence of premature copper corrosion on un-insulated copper wires and/or air conditioner evaporator coils (inside the air handling unit)
Florida Department of Health
The Florida Department of Health has set up a website specifically for people who are wondering if they may have the hazardous imported drywall in their house. It has a section for frequently asked questions and a list of local, state, and federal agencies where you can file a consumer complaint.
The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has put up a website with information about the status of their investigation of hazardous drywall, including a section to answer many of the questions you may have. To report a complaint of toxic drywall to the CPSC, you can fill out a form on their website.
“If the facts and circumstances show that a taxpayer’s home has had a sudden, unusual and unexpected damage, and that this damage was caused by Chinese drywall, and that all of the other requirements of the deduction are met, the taxpayer is entitled to a casualty loss deduction,” IRS spokesman Bruce Friedland told Scripps Howard News Service.
Consumer Product Safety Commission