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William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Energy-Efficient Home Improvements Can Lower Your Taxes

Posted by William Byrnes on April 10, 2014

The IRS reported in Tax Tip 2014-47 that a taxpayer may be able to reduce taxes if making certain energy-efficient home improvements last year.

Key Tax Facts about home energy tax credits:

2014_tf_on_individuals_small_businesses-m_1Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit

  • This tax credit is 30 percent (30%) of the cost of alternative energy equipment installed on or in the home.
  • Qualified equipment includes solar hot water heaters, solar electric equipment and wind turbines.
  • There is no dollar limit on the credit for most types of property. If the credit is more than the tax owed for the year, then the  unused portion of this credit can be carried forward to next year’s tax return.
  • The home must be in the U.S BUT it does not have to be the main home.
  • This credit is available through 2016.

Non-Business Energy Property Credit no longer offered after 2013 tax return

  • This credit is worth 10 percent (10%) of the cost of certain qualified energy-saving items added to the main home last year. This includes items such as insulation, windows, doors and roofs.
  • Taxpayer may also be able to claim the credit for the actual cost of certain property. This may include items such as water heaters and heating and air conditioning systems. Each type of property has a different dollar limit.
  • This credit has a maximum lifetime limit of $500, but only $200 of this limit may be for windows.
  • Main home must be located in the U.S. to qualify for the credit.
  • Obtain a written certification from the manufacturer that their product qualifies for this tax credit. They usually post it on their website or include it with the product’s packaging. Taxpayer’s may rely on such certificate to claim the credit.
  • This credit expired at the end of 2013. You may still claim the credit on your 2013 tax return if you didn’t reach the lifetime limit in prior years.

Use Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits, to claim these credits.

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