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Last Call for Home Improvement Tax Credits
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Minnesota Community Living July/August 2010

Last Call for Home Improvement Tax Credits

By Tony Poetz, Spectrum Home Services

December 31, 2010 is the last day to cash in on home improvement rebates brought about by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The act dedicated $4.3 billion toward products that make homes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

In a nutshell, if you install a product that makes your furnace or air conditioner run less, there’s a good chance that you can take up to 30 percent of what you paid for the product off of your 2010 taxes. Most of the rebates top out at $1500 PER EXISTING HOME. It’s not per person or product or new construction...it’s per existing household, which means each unit in an HOA is eligible. Energystar.gov has a ton of details about what, who, where and how much.

With the appliance rebate over this past March and the first time home buyer credit only being applied to transactions in process before December 31, 2009, which products are left to qualify for the rebate? There are two separate categories.

The first category contains items that qualify for the 30 percent (up to $1500) rebate until December 31, 2010. Some of these products qualify for the rebate, but the labor to install them does not. Those items are noted. Make sure your contractor itemizes his/her bill into parts and labor (which an upfront contractor will do without being asked) so you can properly claim the parts on your taxes.

  • Central AC
  • Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Furnaces
  • Water Heaters
  • Windows and Doors (material only)
  • Roofs (material only)
  • Insulation (material only)

The second category features products that provide significant energy returns and drastically reduce environmental impact. Because these products perform better, the rebate and timeline available is considerably more. The cost of materials and labor qualifies for the 30 percent rebate, but with these products there is no upper limit. There’s no $1500 cap. The deadline for these items to qualify is extended until December 31, 2016.

  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Solar Panels
  • Solar Water Heaters
  • Small Wind Energy Systems

By the time you read this, contractors will be setting their autumn schedules, and some of the items such as windows and doors can take up to eight weeks just for delivery...considerably longer for large HOA projects. All of these products must be installed before their respective deadlines to qualify. To get the rebate, the products can’t be just contracted, not just ordered, not just sitting on pallets on your property, but installed and functioning. If your association is contemplating a project, it’s last call to save thousands.

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