Rudy Niño (October 2, 2009)
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 offers homeowners the opportunity to gain a tax credit of 30 percent of the cost of qualifying energy efficient windows, doors and skylights—to maximum of $1,500 per household for 2009 and 2010. What qualifies? For the tax credit, windows, doors and skylights, installed after February 17, 2009 must have a U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) less than or equal to 0.30. Note: only a few skylights reach those specifications. The verdict is still pending from the IRS as to whether storm doors and windows qualify for the credit. What is the U Factor? It is a measure of heat transmission through a wall or window. The lower the U Factor, the better the insulating value. SHGC measures the fraction of solar energy admitted and tells you how well the product blocks heat caused by sunlight. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat the window transmits. SHGC is measured on a scale of 0 to 1; values typically range from 0.25 to 0.80. What your contractor should tell you—The credit is only allowed on the price of the qualified windows themselves, not on installation costs, on-site preparation, assembly or sales tax. Your contractors should clarify this to you. What your window maker should tell you—Window manufactures can provide you all the information and specifications that you need. Be sure to request a Manufacturer's Certification Statement for your records. A Manufacturer's Certification Statement is a signed statement from the manufacturer certifying that the product or component qualifies for the tax credit. How do we make a tax credit claim? To claim the tax credit for energy efficient products placed in service in 2009, you will need to file the 2009 IRS Form 5695 and submit it with your 2009 taxes by April 15, 2010. The IRS anticipates the 2009 form will be available later this year. It may be best to ask your CPA for advise. The IRS encourages manufacturers to provide these certifications on their Web site to facilitate identification of qualified products. Is there any other rebates or credits?—Check with your power supplier, city, state, and county.
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