Some Green Tax Credits You Should Know About

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solar panels - 2008 green tax credit 

Image by edgygrrrl

With so much talk about going green and jump-starting the economy with green jobs, etc. one of the questions that comes to mind (now that we are heading into tax season) is what tax credits are available for people who did take that green step in 2008?

Well, I’ll give you some bad news first…even though President Bush signed into law the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” on October 3rd, 2008; energy efficient home improvements done in 2008 (such as making your windows, doors, insulation, HVAC, etc more energy-efficient), are NOT eligible for a tax credit.  You will be able to get credit for any improvements made this year (2009), but any improvements you made to increase your home’s energy-efficiency in 2008 are not eligible.

However, Solar Energy credits are available.  The tax credit is 30% of the system, up to $2000.  So any of you who decided to tap into solar energy for your home in 2008, don’t forget to add that to your tax return.  If you purchased and installed a small wind energy system, a tax credit of 30%, up to $500 per each half kilowatt of capacity, with a maximum of $4000 is available.  For the full list, go to EnergyStar.gov.

For those of you who haven’t yet had a chance to green up your home….here are some tax credits that are available in 2009.  Take a good look as these are something you should be aware of so you can take advantage of them in this new year.  2009 is a good year for green improvements and green tax credits.

Home Improvements: Up to $500 in tax credits for improvements to insulation, replacement windows, water heaters, certain high-efficiency heating or cooling equipment and biomass stoves.

Efficient Cars: There is a new Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle tax credit for 2009.  It starts at $2500 and is capped at $7500 – the credit is based on the capacity of the vehicle’s battery system.  NOTE: Only the first 250,000 vehicles sold get the full tax credit so you might want to act sooner rather than later.

Green tax credits are also available to anyone who buys hybrid gas-electric, diesel, battery-electric, alternative fuel and fuel cell vehicles…of course there are requirements on these too, so check here for specifics.  I’m sure there are more, but I wanted to at least get this list out to you so you didn’t forget that going green can have tax benefits too.

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