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Tax Defense Network

Energy-Related Credits

January 23, 2014

There are two major energy-related tax credits that you can claim on your tax return this tax season. If you have performed energy saving home improvements in 2013, you can claim the non-business energy property credit and the residential alternative energy equipment tax credit. Homeowners can claim this credit for tax year 2013.

Non-Business Energy-Efficient Improvements
If you purchased energy-efficient products for home improvements, you can claim 10% of the cost of the improvements up to $500. The products that qualify for this credit include heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), insulation, skylights, water heaters (non-solar), biomass stoves, metal and asphalt roofs, and energy-efficient exterior windows and doors.

You can only claim a total of $500 for a lifetime, which means that if you have claimed a total of $500 of non-business energy property credit in previous years, you cannot claim the credit in 2013. Moreover, you can only use $200 out of the $500 for windows. An important factor to remember is that only certain energy-efficient improvements qualify for this credit. Check the manufacturer’s tax credit certification statement, usually placed on the product packaging, to find out if a product qualifies for the credit.

This tax credit is only available for the primary residence of homeowners, and cannot be used for improvements made on rental homes, second residences, farmhouses, etc.

Residential Alternative Energy Equipment
You can claim this tax credit on qualified residential alternative energy equipment till 2016. This credit is 30 percent of the cost of qualified equipment. Qualifying equipment includes solar panels, hot water heaters, wind turbines, geothermal heat pumps, and fuel cells. The qualifying equipment must be connected to your home in the United States.

You can only make the claim for a fuel cell if it is installed at your main residence in the U.S. or the installation is connected to your main residence in the U.S. Except for the fuel cell, there is no maximum limit set for this tax credit.

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