Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Give homeowner tax credits, rebates to you and your house for the holidays

Energy efficiency is in, as well as income tax breaks next year.

As the year draws to a close and attention turns toward giving, you can give you, your family and your house the gift of energy efficiency that will last long after the holiday hubbub. Electronics are usually gift pleasers and can mean even more if you choose those that are energy efficient. As an example, over the lifetime of a home office equipped with an energy efficient computer, printer and lighting, you can save around $350. Retail and online stores routinely offer rebates on energy efficient products that will help you save money.

The deadline for the federal government’s energy tax credits is December 31, 2010, so speed is of the essence here. Those credits include qualifying heating, ventilating and air conditioning system, insulation, roofing materials, windows and doors. Credits are for 30 percent of the cost up to $1,500 for certain products.

But if you want to install a solar water heater, those tax credits extend through 2016. Closer to home, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources offers energy efficient incentives while Ameren Missouri offers renewable energy initiatives with customers and rebates and free pick-up for old refrigerators and freezers.

The federal tax credit program is a memory now, but homeowners can get help from the city of St. Charles and the Community Development Homeowner Assistance Program or check out the homeownership possibilities with the state of Missouri compiled by the Missouri Association of Realtors.

When the April 15 income tax deadline looms next year, keep in mind that you can get some tax breaks by deducting the interest on your home loan. Real estate, or property taxes, are also deductible and points are too if your real estate purchase was for your main residence. To receive these tax breaks you must file a long for and itemize your deductions.

Learning to take advantage of energy efficient deals, tax breaks and homeowner assistance will help you end the year with a bit more change in your pocket.

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