Green Eco Homeowners To Get Big Tax Breaks

Some new tax laws are providing incentives for "going green" as the IRS also looks at ways to help taxpayers who have lost their jobs. NY1's Monica Brown filed the following report.

Uncle Sam wants taxpayers to "go green," and the Internal Revenue Service is giving incentives to do it. New tax laws are expanding the tax credits previously given for energy-efficient home and business improvements.

City homeowners George and Linda Koenig did not need financial incentive when they installed solar panels on their roof in 2007.

"Everybody has to do something, even if it's just a little bit, even if it's recycling," says Linda Koenig.

But the Koenigs did get some help with the cost. The 32 panels they installed cost $60,000, but they received about half of that cost back from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

They also got a $7,000 tax break when they filed their income tax returns.

"So that was even better, it wasn't like we had to put out the money and wait to get it back, they put it right up front," says Linda Koenig. "And then, when we did file our taxes, we got even more back."

Homeowners who are thinking of installing a system this year will get an even better tax break, since Congress added billions in green tax pork to the $700 billion bank bailout package.

A homeowner who installs a $60,000 system would take $18,000 off the tax bill. If that amount exceeds the taxes currently owed, the surplus extra credit can be used in later years.

Other tax laws have been expanded this year as well, and the IRS is taking into account the tough economy.

Mortgage modifications and foreclosures are now tax-free for many homeowners. Real estate tax credits have been expanded, and there are more provisions this year for those with financial hardship.

"Say you're in an installment agreement with the IRS and you're paying back taxes, but maybe you lost your job, or you're only living on Social Security or welfare checks, or you're facing a devastating illness or significant medical bills, we have flexibility. Give us a call," says IRS spokesperson Kevin McKeon.

McKeon says the key is letting the agency know about one's situation.

As tax season begins to get into high gear, the IRS will have several thousand volunteers working throughout the five boroughs, offering free tax preparation assistance for low-to-moderate income New Yorkers who need help filing.

For more information, visit www.irs.gov.

Other Usefull Tax Articles

Most Viewed Articles