Don’t miss out on energy efficiency tax credits

While the 2013 partial government shutdown has delayed when the IRS will begin to accept and process tax claims (though no later than February 4, 2014), citizens of the United States must still file their individual claims by April 15, 2014. Whether you do your own taxes or have an accountant, make sure that you don't leave any money on the table by taking advantage of all possible tax credits, even those you might not be as familiar with.

When Congress passed their latest fiscal cliff bill, they included tax credits for homeowners that work to make their houses more energy efficient. The tax credits could be for a specific amount between $50 and $300, or 10 percent of the total cost of the measures that are installed, up to $500. It wouldn't make any sense to leave such a sizeable chunk of money left unclaimed. 

These energy efficiency tax credits expire at the end of 2013, so unless Congress extends this measure make sure to include any products when you file your taxes. There are limits to these credits however, as they only apply to certain energy-saving items. Biomass stoves, insulation, certain HVAC systems, non-solar water heaters, and energy-saving windows and doors are all covered by the government's tax credits.

The law only applies to an existing home that is your principal place of residence. Newly constructed homes and rental properties are not qualified for these tax return claims. So if you are a homeowner who has recently installed any energy-saving products in your home, make sure to take advantage of the credits being offered.

If you live in the Washington, D.C., or Maryland area and want to improve your home, call Alban Inspections, a leader in home energy efficiency.