Tax credits

October 16, 2009 12:14:29 PM PDT
Under a recently passed national act, tax-paying homeowners can take advantage of newly improved tax credits on a wide variety of energy-efficient home improvement products. The law raises the credit rate and maximum credit limit for improvements made in 2009 and 2010. But before contracting for any improvements, first make sure you know which improvements and products qualify under the new law. To help, Joan Jensen, president and CEO of The Central Credit Union of Illinois is here to explain the basics of the program and tell us what we need to know to take full advantage of the tax credits.

QUALIFYING FOR THE CREDIT
Improvements made to taxpayer's principal residence. (some exceptions apply)
Installations must take place between January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010.

FILING FOR THE CREDIT
File claim on 2009 IRS Form 5695 and submit it with your 2009 taxes.
The maximum credit for most improvements combined is $1,500 during 2009 and 2010
Homeowners must posses a purchase receipt and the Manufacturer Certification

Statement to qualify.
Installation costs are generally excluded.

QUALIFYING PRODUCTS
WINDOWS and DOORS - Starting October 1, there are two distinct labels that in combination with the ENERGY STAR identify the high-efficiency windows and doors that qualify for the credit. The blue label tells you the product qualifies for ENERGY STAR and is also eligible for the tax credit and the red label identifies high-efficiency products that currently qualify for the ENERGY STAR but will not meet the more stringent requirements that go into full effect in 2010.
WATER HEATERS -- Three types of *water heaters qualify for the credit.
Gas, Oil and Propane heaters with higher Energy Factor (EF- standard measure of operational efficiency) of standard measure of at least .80.
Electric Heat Pump with an EF of at least 2.0
Solar Heaters ? Certified by Solar Rating and Certification Corporation. To check, visit www.solar-rating.org/

Most electric storage tank and electric tankless heaters do not qualify for the credit.

FURNACES AND BOILERS - Not all ENERGY STAR products in this category qualify for the tax credit and only one oil boiler qualifies for the program.

Natural Gas or Propane Furnaces - Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of 95 or greater

OTHER QUALIFYING PRODUCTS
Certain metal and asphalt roofs
Air Conditioning Systems
Solar Energy Systems
Automobiles

To learn more about the program and specifics on all qualifying products visit: www.energystar.gov and follow the "tax credits" link.


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