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Taking the Sting Out of Tax Day

4/14/2009 12:00:00 AM


It’s tax day. And while some Americans have already filed and perhaps even collected their refunds, a good number of us will be burning the midnight CFLs to finalize those returns. 

The good news is that the federal stimulus plan, an effort to jumpstart the economy signed by President Obama in February, offers tax credits worth up to 30 percent of the total cost of green home improvements and eco-friendly cars. The plan includes incentives in four categories: home-shell (insulation upgrades, installing double-pane windows, sealing gaps or cracks); heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC); renewable energy (biomass, wind energy, photovoltaic cells, hydropower and geothermal energy) and green cars (hybrid and diesel). 


To take advantage of the tax credits by greening your home, you can make home-shell and HVAC improvements until December 31, 2010. You have until December 31, 2016, to make the renewable-energy upgrades. 

If you have invested in renewable energy in 2008 and want to receive tax credits for 2009, Alliance to Save Energy president Kateri Callahan recommends you fill out IRS Form 5695. 

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