The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 granted energy-conscious consumers federal tax cuts for certain areas of home improvements that result in reduced energy usage, including window film installations. These tax credits for home window tint were welcomed by many home-owners and have been officially reintroduced for 2011. What this means is that those who buy qualifying energy-efficient solar window film for use in their homes are eligible for the 2011 federal tax credit, valid from the 1st January through to the 31st December 2011.
What You Will Need
All relevant forms are available to download from either www.irs.gov or www.energystar.gov where you’ll also find several other tax credit forms conveniently related to home energy efficiency. You will have to fill out the 2011 version of IRS form 5695 and file your 2011 Income Tax Returns by the 15th April, 2012. For your window film filings to be valid, make sure to keep the dealer invoice copies, categorized by installation cost and the actual cost of the film. You will not be eligible for tax credits based on the installation costs, but these details are required nevertheless. Also, remember to ask for a copy of the manufacturer’s certification statement when installing your home window tint, as these are required for figuring out which products qualify for your location. A good rule of thumb with all the above copies is to keep one for yourself and one for official records.
What You Will Get
On the whole, a tax credit gives you more direct savings than a standard tax deduction. A tax deduction merely lowers the amount of income subject to tax, whereas a tax credit affects your overall income tax due. Tax credits either raise the tax refund amount, or directly reduce the total amount in taxes that you owe. Installation charges aside, you can get up to a 10% credit on the amount you paid for the window film installed, which can add up $500 for the entire tax year.
Save Not Once, But Twice
By applying for the 2011 Federal Tax Credit in connection with your home window tint, you will be saving money on both your standard energy bill at the end of the month, as well as your federal tax bill. In the average household, heat that makes it through the windows is responsible for 40% of the monthly utility bill in summer. Home window tint with special solar control can reduce the heat entering your house by up to 80%, which goes a long way towards reducing overall energy costs throughout the summer.
More Reasons to Tint
It should be noted that saving money is certainly not the only reason, or even the main reason, you would want to tint your home. Home window tint has a long list of direct benefits including: protection from UV rays, preventing fading of furniture and heat damage to electronics, and generally improving the comfort of your indoor living space.
Did you know: The Alliance to Save Energy has reported that increased urban energy efficiency is the fastest, most cost-effective, and cleanest solution to the problem of dwindling global energy supplies.
Where To Buy
Please note that the window film tax credit of 10% is only applicable with regards to the cost of tint film itself – i.e. installation costs do not qualify.
One final caveat: if you are buying your window film from any of the following outlets, the tax credits do not apply as they do not stock professional-grade window film:
- AutoZone, Home Depot, Lowes.
TintCenter recommends SnapTint Window Tint for DIY pre-cut window film for these reasons:
- Professional-endorsed and high quality window film
- Pre-cut to your precise requirements
- Approved for the 2011 Tax Credit for Window Film
For any other window film needs (complete or partial rolls) please visit the TintCenter Store.