Drywall victims may qualify for tax relief

WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - The IRS is changing the rules for what's considered a "casualty loss" to allow homeowners with corrosive drywall to write off those expenses.

In general, the new rules will allow "casualty loss" claims to be filed by homeowners who have paid to repair damage to their personal residences or household appliances caused by corrosive drywall. The amount of the loss that may be claimed will depend on whether the taxpayer has been reimbursed or has a claim to be reimbursed through property insurance, litigation or other means.

"The IRS, with this rule, is attempting to help homeowners more easily recover costs associated with repairing damage caused by contaminated drywall. Mississippians whose homes have been harmed should study the new guidelines to determine whether they can benefit from this favorable tax clause," Sen. Thad Cochran said.

"Many Mississippi families who rebuilt along the Gulf Coast later found substantial problems caused by corrosive drywall," said Sen. Roger Wicker. "I am glad the IRS is working to help those affected by this costly problem."

Over the past year, Cochran and Wicker have asked the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to adequately address the problems posed by corrosive drywall, including proposing a broad public information campaign to alert homeowners to the potential health and safety hazards arising from drywall contamination.

In August, the CPSC reported logging more than 3,500 incidents related to corrosive drywall from 38 states, with 6 percent of those claims originating in Mississippi.

Mississippians with general concerns about drywall in their homes can visit the Drywall Information Center website, which provides information on the problem and how to report cases to the proper authorities. The site is hosted by the CPSC, Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

IRS Drywall Notice: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=228402,00.html

IRS Revenue Procedure 2010-36: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-2010-36.pdf

Drywall Information Center: http://www.cpsc.gov/info/drywall/index.html

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