Tax Relief for Homeowners With Corrosive Drywall

IRS safe harbor offers clear method to claim deduction.

By KARL L. FAVA, CPA, ELLEN WEISS, ESQ. and ROBERT E. HUBER, CPA
Journal of Accountancy     APRIL 2011

Some homeowners who have built or purchased new homes in recent years are experiencing the destructive effects of sulfur emissions from so-called corrosive gypsum plasterboard, or drywall. This drywall was manufactured in China in response to the mini-construction boom after the destruction from Gulf Coast hurricanes in the mid-2000s. Most of it was installed between 2005 and 2006. U.S. suppliers could not keep up with the increased demand, and imports of Chinese drywall increased 17 times. However, corrosive drywall had been installed as early as 2001. It has been found across the country, but mainly in Florida and Louisiana.

As of late January this year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) had received nearly 3,800 reports of corrosive drywall in buildings in more than 40 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and Puerto Rico (see tinyurl.com/5rvq4xj). The corrosive drywall emits hydrogen sulfide gas (which is what gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor) and, in buildings where it has been installed, causes blackening and corrosion of copper wiring, copper components of household appliances and copper air conditioning evaporator coils. Residents of homes where it is present say it also causes health problems that include headaches; itchy eyes; scratchy, burning throat; and skin irritations.   Continue reading article……………….