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7 Facts about the Personal Energy Property Credit

Thinking about making some energy saving improvements to your home this summer?

Taking some energy saving steps now may lead to bigger tax savings next year. The Non-business Energy Property Credit, a tax credit for making energy efficient improvements to homes was increased as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

 

7 Facts about the Personal Energy Property Credit

Here are seven things the IRS wants you to know about the Non-business Energy Property Credit:

  1. The new law increases the credit rate to 30 percent of the cost of all qualifying improvements and raises the maximum credit limit to $1,500 claimed for 2009 and 2010 combined.
  2. The credit applies to improvements such as adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems.
  3. To qualify as “energy efficient” for purposes of this tax credit, products generally must meet higher standards than the standards for the credit that was available in 2007.
  4. Manufacturers must certify that their products meet new standards and they must provide a written statement to the taxpayer such as with the packaging of the product or in a printable format on the manufacturers’ Website.
  5. Qualifying improvements must be placed into service after December 31, 2008, and before January 1, 2011.
  6. The improvements must be made to the taxpayer’s principal residence located in the United States.
  7. To claim the credit, attach Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits to either the 2009 or 2010 tax return. Taxpayers must claim the credit on the tax return for the year that the improvements are made.

Homeowners who have been considering some energy efficient home improvements may find these tax credits will get them bigger tax savings next year.

For more information on this and other key tax provisions of the Recovery Act, visit IRS.gov/recovery.

Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits

college tax benefits

Six Facts About the American Opportunity Tax Credit

Many parents and college students will be able to offset the cost of college over the next two years under the new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This tax credit is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

 

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Here are six important facts the IRS wants you to know about the new American Opportunity Tax Credit:

  1. This credit, which expands and renames the existing Hope Credit, can be claimed for qualified tuition and related expenses that you pay for higher education in 2009 and 2010. Qualified tuition and related expenses include tuition, related fees, books and other required course Materials.
  2. The credit is equal to 100 percent of the first $2,000 spent and 25 percent of the next $2,000 per student each year. Therefore, the full $2,500 credit may be available to a taxpayer who pays $4,000 or more in qualifying expenses for an eligible student.
  3. The full credit is generally available to eligible taxpayers who make less than $80,000 or $160,000 for married couples filing a joint return. The credit is gradually reduced, however, for taxpayers with incomes above these levels.
  4. Forty percent of the credit is refundable, so even those who owe no tax can get up to $1,000 of the credit for each eligible student as cash back.
  5. The credit can be claimed for qualified expenses paid for any of the first four years of post-secondary education.
  6. You cannot claim the tuition and fees tax deduction in the same year that you claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit. You must choose to either take the credit or the deduction, which ever is more beneficial for you.

 

Six Facts About the American Opportunity Tax Credit

Complete details on the American Opportunity Tax Credit and other key tax provisions of the Recovery Act are available at the official IRS Web site at IRS.gov/Recovery.

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