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How Energy Efficiency Results in Tax Breaks

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Kimberly Blackford  by Kimberly Blackford

The nation's tax system is extraordinarily complex and often overwhelming for many homeowners. However, this is no reason to skip seeking out money saving opportunities that may be available!

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In October of 2008, the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was signed into law. Part of this act allows homeowners to earn up to $500 in one-time credits by making certain upgrades to the primary residence. A tax credit is typically more valuable than an equivalent tax deduction; tax credit reduces tax dollar-for-dollar while a deduction only removes a percentage. The upgrades included must provide in-home comfort, long-term energy savings, and reduce air pollution.

Some examples:
  • Insulation ? Exterior doors, storm doors, roofs, weather stripping and select other sealants.
  • Heating and Cooling ? Central air conditioning, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and water heaters.
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From January 1st to December 31st, 2009, any combination of qualifying products can be purchased and installed. The ENERGY STAR and U.S. Department of Energy websites are resources with more extensive information regarding these tax credits.

Bear in mind, receipts and manufacturing certifications must accompany a specific tax form in order to apply for tax credits. It is important to seek the counsel of a tax advisor when submitting such forms to ensure all guidelines have been properly met. Also, remember to inquire about available local and state rebates to earn even more money for your energy efficient upgrades.

While the details are numerous, a little research can go a long way in saving you money. In addition to the tax credits, using energy efficient products can cut living expenses drastically. What a treat, to live in a more affordable, top of the line dream home!

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