The cost of fixing up your house can add up pretty quickly, but often the expense is worth the enjoyment those fixes bring. If you're considering making some home improvements or buying new appliances in the near future, don't forget: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, which provides a tax credit through December 31, 2010. That is, this was the bill signed into law that lets you receive tax credits for certain energy-efficient improvements you make to your home. If you qualify you can get up to 30 percent—or $1,500—"back" on what you spend on these improvements.
So what qualifies? Here's a list from the Energy Star website:
- Windows and doors (including sliding glass doors, garage doors, storm doors, and storm windows)
- Roofs (metal and asphalt)
- Central air conditions, air source heat pumps, furnaces, and boilers
- Water heaters (gas, oil, and propane, along with electric heat pump water heaters)
- Biomass stoves
Here are the items that do not qualify, according to Energy Star:
- Ceiling fans
- Clothes washers & dryers
- Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
- Electric furnaces/boilers
- Electric storage tank water heaters
- Electric tankless water heaters
- Lighting (Light Fixtures, CFLs, LEDs)
- Ovens / Ranges
- Programmable thermostats
- Room air conditioners
- Window Treatments
- Whole-house fans
All hope isn't lost if you need to buy any of the above: some states are still offering appliance rebates for energy-efficient purchases.
So what kind of improvements or purchases do you think you might make this year in order to qualify for a tax credit?