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Ask the taxgirl: Energy Efficient Appliances

March 10, 2010 · 6 comments

Taxpayer asks:

Can you get money back for purchasing a washer and dryer in 2009 that has the energy star on it. Thanks for the info!!!!

Taxgirl says:

Unfortunately, no. What you’re probably thinking about are Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Tax Credits. Those credits were for the installation of specific products like energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment for an existing residence (new homes don’t qualify). “Regular” appliances, even if they’re energy-efficient don’t apply. Trust me, I wish they did as those in my kitchen apparently had a recent suicide pact. You can find out more about how those HEEIT credits work at this prior post.

That said, in 2010, you might qualify for an energy efficient appliance rebate – these vary from state to state. My state of Pennsylvania wouldn’t cover a new refrigerator but Montana will; check out this map to see what your state covers.

Like any good lawyer, I need to add a disclaimer: Unfortunately, it is impossible to give comprehensive tax advice over the internet, no matter how well researched or written. Before relying on any information given on this site, contact a tax professional to discuss your particular situation.

Have a question? Ask the taxgirl!Now on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/taxgirl

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John March 10, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I thought new home construction qualifies. Am I reading the instructions wrong? From Form 5695 Instructions, under Who Can Take the Credits:

“You may be able to take the credits if you made energy saving
improvements to your home located in the United States in 2009. For
credit purposes, costs are treated as being paid when the original
installation of the item is completed, or in the case of costs connected
with the construction or reconstruction of your home, when your original
use of the constructed or reconstructed home begins”

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf

2 Kelly March 10, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Wow, that is confusing!

Okay, here’s the deal (the instructions are not clear). The IRS clearly says “existing homes” here: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206875,00.html

And on the energy web site: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index

The confusion is that the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit can be taken for new construction. It uses the same tax form but it’s a different credit (see Part II of the form 5695) – it’s for solar & geothermal power, fuel cells and the like. It does apply to new construction.

But the credit for windows and certain appliances that I mentioned in the post? Only existing homes.

3 Judy Borawski March 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm

If we were to install a tankless water heater would be eligible to a tax deduction say as if when we put in our new windows and how long to we have to have it installed to get the tax break for next year?

4 Kelly March 14, 2010 at 9:32 am

Judy, if it qualifies (check here for more details: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index), you would have through the end of 2010 to count it towards a 2010 tax break. Provisions expire December 31.

5 forex robot April 6, 2010 at 8:07 am

Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

6 Natural Gas Company December 28, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Even though it costs a little more, these energy efficient appliances make up for it in the long run.

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