Green Tax Deductions

Obviously it is to late for this year but since taxes are on your mind today I thought this post should be about what you can do to help the environment and save on your taxes next year!

Clean fuel credit

Credits are good because they are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in tax. And if you bought a new hybrid gas-electric auto or truck in 2007, you can get a conservation tax credit of between $250 and $1,000 and an additional fuel economy credit of between $400 and $2,400, depending on the make and the fuel economy. A hybrid car combines an electric motor with a gas fueled internal combustion engine.

But act quickly. The credit starts to phase out when the auto manufacturer sells its 60,000th hybrid vehicle. That’s the total per manufacturer, not 60,000 per model. Once the cap is reached, the phaseout starts at the beginning of the second subsequent calendar quarter. 

For the next two quarters, you can claim only half the credit. In the six months after that, 25% of the full credit. So, if Honda’s cap was reached, say, in August 2006, buyers of Honda’s hybrids would get 100% of the credit through Dec. 31, 50% for those purchased in January 2007 through June 2007, and 25% for any bought in the remainder of the year. After that, zero.

You get the deduction in the year you start using the car, and you must be the original owner. Take it on your Form 1040 by writing in “clean fuel.”

Consumers must do more legwork to understand what kind of tax savings they might get if they’re buying a specific hybrid car or truck. Check with a dealer or tax preparer.

Buyers of Toyota’s 2007 Prius hybrid qualify for a $3,150 credit, while its hybrid Highlander sport-utility vehicle and Ford’s hybrid Escape SUV qualify for $2,600.

Honda’s Civic Hybrid gets a $2,100 credit. But its Civic GX compressed natural gas vehicle qualifies for a $4,000 credit, the most for any vehicle.

The Insight qualifies for a $1,450 credit, and the Accord Hybrid qualifies for a $1,300 credit. General Motors’ so-called mild hybrid Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks qualify for a $650 credit.

*above from MSN

Donating your Stuff

If you recycle your clothing or other items by donating them to a charity (rather than throwing them away) you can write the value of the items off on your taxes. Make sure you get a written receipt. Starting either this year or last year you can no longer take a deduction for donations without a written receipt.  Since most organizations know this you will not have a hard time getting the receipt.

Some Home Improvements

I definitely recommend talking to a tax accountant for this one because the research I was able to do on-line for this was difficult (maybe because it was around the tax deadline). I know that Energy Star rates window replacements can be written off your taxes.  Solar panel installation can also be written off on some state taxes. There are other improvements you can make to your house that are tax deductible however if the tax deduction is part of your motivation to do the improvement do your research and call your tax accountant.

As always anything relating to your taxes should be verified and checked with a professional… I do not pretend to be a tax expert so do not take this post as tax advice, just thoughtful tips for the coming year.

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