2011 starts us off on a path of confusion in regard to tax credits for energy-efficient home improvement products. Much like the maze Harry Potter had to navigate to win the golden goblet. The new energy tax credit qualifications are “twisting our reality” and even have industry experts confused. The federal tax law was updated effective January 1, 2011 to reference the 2009 IECC code as the qualification criteria for window performance. A posting on the IECC site also confirms the 2009 IECC as the standard for qualifying window products for the new tax credit. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) recently released an article saying that the Energy Star product qualifications are now falling in line with the 2012 IECC, which is not mentioned in the tax law.
The Energy Star site states that Energy Star labeled products meet the qualifying standards for the new 2011 tax credit-yet this same site also bears warning that not all Energy Star products qualify. I assume that refers to Energy Star products such as light bulbs or stoves not windows.
The industry is waiting for IRS clarification on the rules. Consumers may want to ensure that the windows purchased this year meet the most stringent of these codes for their area if they are planning on a 2011 tax savings from the purchase.
One thing is for certain. Improving old less efficient windows in any fashion will provide benefits far beyond 2011….. So perhaps the tax credit isn’t a big concern after all.
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