The last time we talked about U.S. federal tax credits was in January where we posted 5 (More) Things to Know Before You Claim Your Energy Tax Credit: Part 2. You might think the information is outdated at this point, but that's not the case. (NOTE: This is not the same as the Rebates for ENERGY STAR® Appliances program, which is a state-by-state incentive and cannot be claimed on your federal tax return.)
While there are several items that are only eligible for tax credits on your 2009 and 2010 tax returns, many more are eligible through 2016. That leaves plenty of time to plan ahead —especially for big-ticket items such as geothermal heat pumps and small wind electric systems.
If you're considering retrofitting your home with renewable energy systems, or are fortunate enough to build or customize a new home, take a look at our new fact sheet: Tax Credits for Home Energy Improvements (PDF 753 KB. Download Adobe Reader). This fact sheet outlines, in general terms, which items are eligible under what tax year. You can also view our Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency page.
In addition, here is a list of sites to help you take advantage of the federal tax credits:
- Energystar.gov: Provides details on ENERGY STAR qualified products (note that not all ENERGY STAR products are eligible for tax credits)
- Dsireusa.org: Provides information on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
- Fueleconomy.gov: Provides details on which vehicles are still eligible for the federal tax credit.
- Energytaxincentives.org: The Tax Incentives Assistance Project, which will help you take advantage of the tax credits.
- IRS.gov: Provides all tax forms and instructions for filling them out properly.
Finally, please talk to your accountant or contact the IRS if you have questions about your specific tax situation.