How to Claim Energy Improvement Tax Credits on 2009

The 2009 Form 5695 Residential Energy Credits, should be available by January 15, 2010- Friday of this week. Form 5695 will help taxpayers figure and claim Energy Improvement Tax Credits. Until the form's available, here's what you'll need to know to claim Energy Improvements to your home as Tax Credits on you 2009 taxes.

-The credit is equal to 30% of what is spent on eligible energy-saving improvements.

-The maximum tax credit is $1,5000 for the combined 2009 and 2010 tax years. This means that you can get the maximum credit by spending at least $5,000 on qualifying improvements.

-The improvements must be made to an existing principal residence.

-The Tax Credit is not available for new construction.

-The cost of certain high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters and stoves that burn biomass all qualify, along with labor costs for installing these items.

-The cost of energy-efficient windows and skylights, energy-efficient doors, qualifying insulation and certain roofs are also eligible for the credit. However, the cost of installing these items does not count.

-Generally, labor costs are included when calculating this credit. Also, no cap exists on the amount of credit available except in the case of fuel cell property.

Final Warning: Not all energy-efficient improvements qualify for these tax credits. For that reason, you should check the manufacturer’s tax credit certification statement before purchasing or installing any of these improvements. (This can usually be found on the manufacturer's website or product packaging. Don't be afraid to ask about this before you purchase.)