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Welcome to the complete federal tax credit guide for the replacement window rebate. The information presented in this guide is dated as the government program expires soon. The government requires that replacement windows be installed by December 31st, 2010 to qualify for the 30% window tax credit up to $1500.00. After this date, the program will revert to the former 10% it was before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (otherwise known as the Economic Stimulus) was signed into law. The total amount of money able to be received from the rebate is $1500.00 depending on the nature of the product.
A notable mention of this program is that it is in fact a tax credit and not a tax deduction. A deduction serves to lower your total income to potentially lower you to another bracket. If it does not lower you to another bracket, you typically do not see any benefit from it. A tax credit is an actual return on funds after all calculations have been made for figuring one's federal taxes. A government tax credit will typically provide approximately 3 times the benefit than a federal tax deduction will. The realm of taxes is still best explored with the assistance of a local tax professional who will be familiar with the specific points of your area and requirements.
A large variety of window and replacement window products exist in the current market. Trying to separate out that which qualifies from what does not can be a daunting task without understanding exactly what permits qualification. A consumer will be met with a large number of different features and programs that go along with replacement windows. Companies are very competitive for a consumer's attention due to the nature of their product. Purchasing replacement windows is a long-term investment in a homeowner's home. It is not something you should be replacing at any time in the near future. Therefore, it is important for window manufacturers to build a good reputation and camaraderie with their clients.
There are a good many extra programs available to make taking advantage of the window tax credit more worthwhile with a given manufacturer. Some are offering additional rebates or discounts on a certain number of replacement windows or on installation through their company installers. Others are offering to cover the cost of the rebate if they can not finish the job by the cut off date. Whichever manufacturer and program you choose; be sure to remember this is a company you may need to deal with decades down the line. Do not go into any commitment while having strong reservations about the company or the representative you are dealing with. If you feel you are being pressured or they are not listened to you; there are plenty of other window companies to deal with.
The two primary ratings that determine whether or not a product qualifies for the window tax credit are the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and U-Factor of the window. These values can be found on the black and white National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) sticker that will be on every window. They both must equal or be lower than 0.30 for the product to qualify. Everything past that is considered extra or will be more for meeting the requirements of a home owner's given situation. The NFRC is the only entity the federal government recognizes for providing certification of fenestration products such as windows, skylights, and doors.
To be eligible for the rebate, the property being updated must meet a couple requirements of its own. It must be an already existing home and your principal residence. One can not upgrade the windows in a rental or receive this rebate for a new construction project. Other incentives and promotions may be available from manufacturers or the government for new construction projects.
As you browse through different manufacturers, you will find that many have different offerings to customers to draw their attention. There are a good many deals and incentives to be had from their competition for your attention. You may find additional rebates offered on eco-friendly models or discounts on installation through the company's installers. It will largely depend on the company and how they feel they can best reach you to look at their product. These may be a consideration for a consumer when deciding on what product to go with; but one wants to ensure the windows they choose meets the rating requirements.
Most dealers or manufacturers will know exactly which of their products meet the government requirements for the window tax credit. It was not announced that this rebate would go into effect before President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. Manufacturers scrambled to ensure their products met the standards set down by the federal government to qualify. Once this initial period passed, they began looking to entice customers through a variety of their own programs to work in conjunction with the government's program. This is why it is always important to shop around and get multiple quotes before opting to go with one manufacturer or dealer.
Consumers look to Energy Star rated and continuously screened products for energy efficient models. These products are generally screened one or two additional times a year after initially being accepted to ensure they are still being produced in a compliant way. Replacement windows in particular will pay for themselves through savings on energy bills within a reasonable time-frame after installation. Though it is a solid program that has drastically cut emissions across the country, it should be noted that not all Energy Star replacement products will qualify for the window tax credit. The replacement windows must meet the federal government's standards for SHGC and U-Factor to qualify.
Energy Star did release a type of label for manufacturers to use for their products that were compliant. This sticker was the normal blue color of Energy Star with lettering in white that announced the product as being compliant for the window tax credit and Energy Star's own ratings. The qualification criteria are actually more strict for the window tax credit than they are for Energy Star products. Finding a coupling of the two means it is a highly efficient product that will pay for itself through energy bill savings in the next few years.
Local power companies may offer additional rebates or discounts for homeowners upgrading to a more efficient replacement window style. Many of these rebates are cumulative with the federal window tax credit provided the windows meet the criteria of the power company. This is not done simply out of kindness by the power companies. They stand to gain as well by you replacing old windows with more energy efficient models. It permits them more flexibility of the energy grid, helps to reduce their emissions, and reduces general consumption of power from a given plant. It is an environmentally and economically friendly thing to do, but it is also good business.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was extended another year to the end of 2010. This helped to increase the number of home owners that were able to participate in the program. There are currently no plans for this window tax credit to be extended any further than December 31st, 2010. Any windows installed after that date will instead be permitted the 10% standard window tax credit provided by the government. The installed windows must still meet the requirements for energy efficiency. Confer with a local tax professional to ensure there are no further local considerations that need to be met.
The benefit passed on to the average homeowner through this government program as part of the economic stimulus package is slowly winding down. Though we saw an extension of the program from 2009, there are currently no plans to extend it further. Taking advantage of the 30% window tax credit is something that needs to be very soon before the opportunity is passed. Even still, it is just as important to be absolutely sure of the product you are having installed in your home. The amount of damage that can be done to your home or money lost from inefficiency is not worth the cost of recouping up to $1500.00. Diligent research on manufacturers and installers will help to ensure you are able to enjoy your investment rather than wondering how to get it repaired.
Even if you are unable to make a decision to be able to get the windows installed by December 31st, 2010; you can still look forward to increased savings on energy bills and efficiency. Upgrading your old windows to modern, energy efficient windows is an investment that will pay off in the long run. This expanded rebate simply makes the choice that much more attractive to those considering it.