Energy Tax Credits Available

September 15, 2011

Green Construction, Miscellaneous

Heating and air conditioning systems are expensive to replace.  But, it may be possible for homeowners to get a tax credit for an energy-efficient replacement.

Last December Congress continued the tax credits for energy efficient home improvements but at the same time reduced the amount of the credit.

Prior to 2011, tax credits were up to $1,500 but now the limit is $500.  If those home improvements were made in 2009 or 2010 and homeowners did not claim the tax credit, they can still amend their tax returns to reflect the credit.

Homeowners should also be aware that the tax credit goes toward the taxpayer, not the property and it is a lifetime ceiling, which means that the homeowner can only claim the credit once.

So what?  A small tax credit is better than a stick in the eye, right?  You should also know that the cost of any home improvement can be written off once the property is sold.

Home improvements are written off against capital gains taxes.  A tax credit is a credit that is taken against taxes owed, not a deduction, which is taken against your income.  Confused?  Well, now you know why CPA’s make the big bucks.

Nevertheless, if you make energy-efficient home improvements and claim the credit, remember that the credit will not apply if you sell the home and improve the new one you buy.

Also, the credits apply only toward your main residence, not any vacation or other properties you may own.  And the homeowner needs to be aware that not all Energy Star appliances are covered, such as refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers or ceiling fans.

Appraisal Source is a New York based residential real estate appraisal firm. Their Long Island real estate appraisal firm services Nassau and Suffolk County. In New York City, their firm provides independent residential real estate appraisals for Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Here’s the original article…Getting tax breaks for energy-efficient home improvements

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