Nebraskans who improve the energy efficiency of their homes may be eligible for a tax credit, but you’ll have to get cracking or hire a contractor in the next few weeks. Internal Revenue Service spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge says you need to make the home improvements before the end of the year to take advantage of them on your 2009 tax return.
Eldridge says you can make simple improvements, such as purchasing insulation, new windows and doors, or a heating system, and claim up to 15-hundred dollars in a credit on your tax return. It can also include water heaters or stoves that burn biomass. The tax credit is 30-percent of the cost of the improvements up to a maximum of 15-hundred dollars, so if your investment is five-thousand dollars, you could qualify for the maximum amount.
Eldridge says there are a variety of energy-efficient products available for installation in your home. She says the products have to be certified, and you can look on the product label, ask the retailer selling the product, or visit the manufacturers websites. The Obama administration is trying to prod people into making their homes greener by offering more green for your pocket.
Eldridge says the goal is to get people to invest some money now to save energy in the long run. Eldridge says for more information on products and the types of records you need to keep on your purchases, visit the agency’s website: www.IRS.gov
There are few homes in Nebraska that couldn’t use a little help somewhere in being weatherized, but, Eldridge says if you don’t have the need for energy efficiency improvements, there is a similar 30-percent tax credit for installing alternative energy equipment. That includes things like a solar water heater, geothermal heat pumps and even wind turbines. In general, she says labor costs -are- included when calculating the credit.