Attic insulation: Do I qualify for tax benefits?

Not only can attic insulation projects help save you money when it comes to monthly heating and cooling costs, but you may also qualify for federal and state tax benefits. See if your project qualifies.

What kind of attic projects qualify for tax benefits?

Many types of insulation can qualify for tax benefits, according to the federal tax credit rules. The regulations are based on Energy Star ratings: Batting, foam, fiber, panels and many other types of insulation can qualify. Additionally, if you are sealing air leaks in your attic with weather stripping, caulk, or similar materials, you can also qualify for the tax credit. The key point is Energy Star ratings.

Contractors may be able to advise you regarding the materials you have used in insulation projects, but choose a professional contractor you trust to make an accurate report, preferably the same contractor who installed your attic insulation.

Is there a deadline for attic insulation work to qualify?

Yes. To qualify for the federal credit, your insulation must have been installed during 2013. Projects begun in 2014 do not qualify.

How much can I save?

The federal tax credit offers a rebate that works out to 10 percent of costs, but only to a maximum of $500. It is important to note that the credit applies to the cost of materials. The cost of installation (labor costs, etc.) does not apply to this calculation.

Where do I begin the process?

Fill out IRS form 5695 when completing your tax return, and prepare any required documents. It is vital that you provide receipts and invoices from your attic project to prove the costs of materials that you are claiming. If you no longer have these documents, contact your contractor and ask for copies of your receipts from the project.

Are there any other tax benefits I can get?

Yes! States offer their own tax benefit programs for a number of projects, including attic insulation. Other rebate programs may also be available in your area. For example, Georgia offers up to $300 in savings for an attic insulation project under its "Individual Improvements" rebates. Local savings like these do not have the same 2013 deadline as the federal tax credit, which means than 2014 projects may also qualify. Explore local options like these to see how much you can save with the right roofing project.

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