In my client letter I specifically stated – “If you purchased energy-efficient windows or exterior doors, insulation, a central air conditioner, a water heater, a natural gas, propane or oil furnace or boiler, or a pigmented metal roof in 2009 be sure to give me the receipt and the ‘manufacturer’s certification’”.
In almost all the cases where the eligibility of the item was in question – which was all cases where I was not provided a manufacturer’s certification – I went to the “Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency” page at www.energystar.gov before claiming a credit.
This is a great resource. It provides the very specific requirements for eligibility of each individual item – i.e. Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning (HVAC), Insulation, Roofs (Metal and Asphalt), Water Heaters, Windows and Doors, etc. – as well as links to lists of specific manufacturers and products that qualify.
In several instances the client, while not providing a manufacturer’s certification, did send or give me a descriptive brochure on the item purchased, which listed the product’s specifications, and I was able to determine eligibility by matching the product specifications to the requirements listed on the website. Where I just received a copy of a bill I emailed the client with the specific requirements and asked them to verify that the item they purchased matched the requirements.
This credit is still available for 2010. If you are purchasing an item that qualifies for the credit be sure to get a manufacturer’s certification – and be sure to include it with the “stuff” you give your tax professional next year!
If you do not receive a certification, or, more better, prior to making the actual purchase, check out the specific requirements at the Energy Star web page and make sure what you are buying does qualify. When sending me, or your tax professional, your 2010 “stuff” include a note or print-out that indicates that the specifications of your purchase meets the IRS requirements.
FYI – installation costs are included in the amount eligible for the credit for:
• HVAC systems
• Biomass Stoves
• Water Heaters (including solar)
• Solar Panels
• Geothermal Heat Pumps
• Wind Energy Systems
• Fuel Cells
Installations costs for windows, doors, insulation, and roofs are not eligible for the credit.