Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a “Safe Harbor” provision to ease some of the confusion about the new energy tax credit for replacement windows, doors, and skylights. Under the provision, previous energy-efficiency standards were retroactively put in place for a limited time, helping out homeowners who may not have known about the new standards.
The energy tax credit, passed as part of the Stimulus package in February, raised the maximum claim to $1,500, but also raised the energy standards. The new “30/30” standards require all windows and doors to have a U-Value and SHGC of .30 or less.
This new standard exceeds current Energy Star ratings, which was the standard in 2007, and means that many Energy Star windows would not qualify. The IRS and other government agencies were also slow to update their information about the tax credit. Many homeowners bought windows they thought qualified, only to find out they weren’t going to get the credit.
The IRS’ Safe Harbor provision reinstates the old standards to qualify for the tax credit from Jan 1 to June 1 of 2009. If you purchased and installed any window or door that is Energy Star certified or has a Manufacturer’s Certificate validating it’s rating, you qualify for the full tax credit. That’s 30% of the cost of the product, up to $1,500.
This is great news for all those who thought they were going to get the credit, but found out their windows didn’t qualify. The new 30/30 standards will be enforced on June 2, 2009.
Do you think the IRS is doing the right thing? Let me know your thoughts.