IRS Form 5695: Get it Before It’s Too Late

Solar panel installation

Did you make some energy-efficient improvements to your home this year?  Well maybe you already know this but you did so just in time.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides for a tax credit for some home improvements that help the environment.  This is a great credit that rewards you on your tax return for doing something that already benefits you…improving your home to save energy and save money.

The expiration of this tax credit is December 31, 2013, unless it gets extended again.  That means, if you are thinking of installing thermal doors in your home, now’s the time to do it.

Use IRS Form 5695 to Claim Your Tax Credit

IRS Form 5695 is used to claim the Residential Energy Credits you can get for improving your own home.  This is one IRS form that might require a little help, however.  Basically you are stating your costs for qualified improvements to your home…solar water heater, geothermal heat pump etc.  Then you take 30% of the cost and that’s the amount of your tax credit.

The Energy Star Seal of Approval

Make sure any products you buy for improving the energy efficiency of your home have the Energy Star label on them.  The Energy Star is the US Government’s seal of approval for energy efficient appliances and other items for your home.  Each type of improvement  has its own list and set of guidelines, which is all neatly outlined here on the Energy Star website.

You can get tax credit for purchasing approved insulation, biomass stoves, solar energy systems, and most popular has been windows & doors that seal up your home to keep in the cold or keep in the heat, depending on where you live.

Things You Can Claim on IRS Form 5695

  • your share of a condo association’s residential energy efficiency improvements
  • improve your skylights’ energy efficiency
  • a roof with cooling granules
  • a roof with pigmented coating
  • roof insulation
  • a small wind turbine!
  • solar and non-solar hot water heaters
  • an energy efficient air conditioner