Taxes can be complicated - especially if you can't simply fill out the 1040EZ form - with so many forms to collect and so many deductions to remember. There may even be some energy tax credits available you might not know about. If you did renovations to your home or made a big purchase in 2015, you might be eligible for federal or state tax credits. Let's get started.
Revived, renewed and current energy tax credits
In December 2015, the Consolidated Appropriations Act extended tax credits that were originally set to expire, or did expire, at the end of 2014. Below are Residential Energy Efficient Property credits and Nonbusiness Energy Property credits available for the 2015 tax year.
• If your primary residence, excluding new construction, had biomass stoves; air source heat pumps; central air conditioning (CAC); gas, propane or oil hot water boilers; gas, propane or oil furnaces and fans; insulation; roofs; water heaters (non-solar); and windows, doors and skylights installed, then you are eligible for a tax credit of 10 percent of cost up to $500.
• If your existing or newly constructed primary or secondary home, excluding rentals, had geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines or solar energy systems installed, then you are eligible for a tax credit of 30 percent of cost with no dollar limit.
• If your existing or newly constructed primary home, excluding rentals and second homes, had fuel cells installed, then you are eligible for a tax credit of 30 percent of cost without a monetary limit.
To claim your energy tax credits, you will need receipts and certifications to file with Form 5695.
Purchasing a fuel cell or plug-in electric vehicle in 2015 may qualify taxpayers for the Alternative Motor Vehicle tax credit or the Qualified Plug-In Drive Motor Vehicle tax credit.
• If you purchased a new Mercedes-Benz 2012 F-Cell or Honda FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle (year models 2008-2012), then you are eligible for the Alternative Motor Vehicle tax credit. Complete Form 8910 with Form 1040 to receive your credit.
• If you purchased a new plug-in electric vehicle, then you are eligible for the Qualified Plug-In Drive Motor Vehicle tax credit. To see if your plug-in electric car is on the list of eligible vehicles, visit the IRS website. Fill out Form 8936 with Form 1040 when you file your 2015 taxes.
• There is also a credit for converting a car into a plug-in electric vehicle. This tax credit cannot exceed $4,000 and doesn’t apply to conversions made after 2011.
You also may be eligible for state incentives for hybrid, fuel cell and electric vehicle purchases in 2015.
Go green and save
Being environmentally friendly doesn’t just help cut down on carbon emissions, it also can save you money. Remember to always check with the IRS to determine what tax credits or deductions are in effect. With your new energy-efficient upgrades, you might even get money back on your tax return this year.