If you didn't take advantage of the energy tax credits offered in 2009 and 2010, don't panic... You still have the opportunity to save a few tax dollars! The maximum tax credit for 2011 will be $500, down from $1,500 in previous years. If you were able to take advantage of the credits available in 2009 and 2010, you will not be able to claim the $500 credit in 2011. While the 2011 credits aren't nearly as enticing, there is certainly some benefit in understanding what expenses will be eligible this year. 

To begin, the credit will be calculated at 10% of the cost associated with your energy-related improvements or a set amount between $50 and $300. The maximum credit is $500. Eligible expenses include those related to the purchase of the following items:

  • HVAC equipment (air source heat pumps, central A/C, circulating fans, furnaces and boilers)
  • Insulation materials
  • Metal and asphalt roofing
  • Non-solar water heaters
  • Windows, doors and skylights
  • Biomass stoves with thermal efficiency rating of at least 75%

Be sure to hold on to those receipts... you'll need them come tax time! As in previous years, you'll use form 5695 to claim the energy tax credits. If you have any questions or need help figuring your credit, contact your local income tax preparation office.

Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.