Released April 15, 2009
STILLWATER, Okla. – Just because the April 15 tax deadline has passed does not mean consumers should put taxes out of their minds.
Spring is a great time of the year to start home improvement projects that can help improve your home’s energy efficiency. What can motivate homeowners to get started is knowing that some of their improvements may be eligible for federal tax credits when they file their taxes next year, said Eileen St. Pierre, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension personal finance specialist.
“Not only will these improvements help increase the value of your home, they also benefit the environment and your wallet through energy and cost savings,” St. Pierre said.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 extended many of the home energy efficiency tax credits originally introduced in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which had expired in 2008.
Federal tax credits are available for improvements made to existing residences that are placed into service starting Jan. 1, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2010. In order to qualify, the home being improved must be the taxpayer’s primary residence. Homeowners can receive a tax credit for 30 percent of the cost, up to $1,500. Those building new homes are not eligible for this credit.
Some of the existing home improvements that may qualify include the installation of storm windows, storm doors, insulation, central air conditioning and heating, roofs and non-solar water heaters.
“If you are building a new home, you may qualify for another type of credit called the Residential Renewable Energy tax credit,” St. Pierre said. “Consumers who install geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, small wind systems and fuel cells may be eligible for a 30 percent tax credit for systems placed into service before Dec. 31, 2016. This applies to both existing homes and new construction. There is no upper limit on this credit.”
Taxpayers who plan to claim any of these tax credits on their 2009 federal taxes will need to complete IRS Tax Form 5695. This form will be available later this year or early 2010 on the IRS’s Web site, http://www.irs.gov.
St. Pierre said additional information about these federal tax credits can be found by doing an online search for “energy tax credits.”
“Your local OSU Cooperative Extension office also can provide consumers with information,” she said.
Contact: Trisha Gedon, 405-744-3625, email@example.com