Home Improvement and the Energy Tax Credit

My installer put in new windows but failed to save any of the documentation about the windows. Am I screwed? All I know is that they are Anderson 400, and there is online certification about these windows, but is there anyway I can prove anything beyond this (to show they qualify for the tax credit)? Any thoughts?

You should be fine.

  1. You don’t have to “prove” anything to take the credit on your tax return; if you meet all the requirements, take the credit. The “proving” only comes into play if you get audited. So let’s say you get audited:

  2. “Proof” in this case would very likely be: (a) you incurred the cost in installing the windows in your residence. If you have an invoice / bill from the windows installer, and a cancelled check/credit card charge for this, you should be good. (b) did the installed windows meet the EnergyStar requirements [or whatever] required to take the credit? Well, this may not even be an audited point-- most new windows do meet these requirements, I’m sure, so I would doubt that once an IRS auditor hears “Anderson” they will go any further. But to be on the safe side I would see if I could print off the EnergyStar [or whatever] specs from the manufacturers website, or barring that, call the manufacturer or mfr rep and get a brochure or printout or something stating this for your model of windows.

If all of this fails:

  1. Let’s say you take the credit, get audited, and the IRS doesn’t like what you provided above in (2.). The worst they can do is disallow you the credit. ( It’s worth no more than $1500 to you).

I say take the credit and be as prepared as you can with documentation, but don’t sweat it.

I took it last year for the geothermal install. No questions ask. That’s just anecdotal data, but serves as a datum all the same.

We install Geothermal and there is a 3rd party web site where we can print off “certificates” but I heard from a couple sources that those certificates aren’t a necessary part of your tax filing.

I defer to drpepper on whether most windows do meet the requirements. I can tell you that most furnaces, A/C systems do not.

So I suppose that you’re good unless you’re ever audited. My personal opinion is that I would want that certificate now. If I’m audited 2 years from now I can’t be sure that the certificates will still be online, or lost or whatever.

Ok, I’m going to backpedal after reading raindog’s observation that most furnaces and ac systems do not meet the requirements… that surprised me because I simply figured that currently manufactured items generally were up to snuff on energy efficient technology.

I honestly don’t know whether most windows do or not, I made an assumption in my post above.

However I stand by my observations on the tax procedure.

There are plenty of doors and windows which do not meet the requirements, even those from Andersen. Last year, I installed a $1,500 Andersen door which doesn’t meet the requirements. Even within a product line, such as the 400 Series, you will find that some windows and doors meet the requirements only if they are ordered with specific options, such as a Low-E coating.

The windows should have an ID on the glass. That code can be used to determine exactly which windows they are and you can then check Andersen’s list to see whether they are eligible. You may need to contact Andersen to have them decode the ID.

At first windows only had to be Energy Star to qualify. Now they have to have a U factor less than 0.3 which is better than just Energy Star.