Tax Benefits on New Energy Windows


I have been getting conflicting opinions on the following.
If I install new energy efficient windows myself, how can I get the energy credit? I have been told that it must be installed by a "qualified" installer, whatever that means, and that I cannot get the credit if I do it myself. I have installed many windows, replaced single-pane glass with argon filled double glass, etc, and certainly know how to do a proper job. Do I have to hire someone who is "qualified" to do what I can do myself perfectly well, or can I somehow find someone to "qualify" me?
Reply to
hrhofmann

I don't see anything in the Code or in any IRS guidance issued on this subject that says energy efficient windows need to be installed by a third party. The reinstatement of the credit (ended after 2007, brought back to life in 2009) included additional requirements that were not in the original credit.
Here is the relevant part from the IRS Notice. (reference to a building component includes your windows).
.05 General Provisions. Under all three of the acts, EPACT, EIEA, and ARRTA, the following provisions apply: (1) Requirements to Claim the Credit. A taxpayer may claim a credit under § 25C with respect to amounts paid or incurred for an item of property only if each of the following requirements is satisfied: (a) The item is installed in or on a dwelling unit located in the United States and, at the time of installation, the dwelling unit is owned and used by the taxpayer as the taxpayer's principal residence (within the meaning of § 121). Thus, the credit is only available for existing homes. See § 45L for the credit applicable to new homes. (b) The original use of the item commences with the taxpayer. (c) In the case of a building envelope component described in section 2.03(1) or 4.01 of this notice, the component reasonably can be expected to remain in use for at least five years. For this purpose, a component will be treated as reasonably expected to remain in use for at least five years if the manufacturer offers, at no extra charge, at least a two-year warranty providing for repair or replacement of the component in the event of a defect in materials or workmanship. If the manufacturer does not offer such a warranty, all relevant facts and circumstances are taken into account in determining whether the component reasonably can be expected to remain in use for at least five years. (2) Time of Expenditure. The credit is allowed for amounts paid or incurred by the taxpayer during the taxable year. Section 25C(e)(1) incorporates § 25D(e)(8), relating to the time expenditures are treated as made. Accordingly, except as provided in section 2.03(1)(e) and (f) of this notice, expenditures will be treated as made for purposes of § 25C when the original installation of the property is complete or, in the case of reconstruction, when the original use of the reconstructed property begins.
Reply to
Alan

I've been researching this for my own purposes, and I don't see anything in the Form 5695 instructions that would require the involvement of a third party. A literal read of the instructions ("You may be able to take the credits if you made energy saving improvements to your home...") appears to give the home owner the go-ahead to do the work. Further, the instructions exclude the cost of installation when computing the credit ("For purposes of figuring the credit, do not include amounts paid for the onsite preparation, assembly, or original installation of the property.")
Reply to
paultry

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