Dear Tax Talk,
I would like to take a tax credit for buying and installing Energy Star-rated roofing shingles. Is there a separate form I need to file with my tax return? How do I go about claiming an energy tax credit for a new roof?
Yes, you may qualify for the credit and you are going to need to look at Form 5695, residential energy credits. The type of credit you may qualify for is listed in Part II for nonbusiness energy property, which allows you to claim up to a 10 percent credit for certain energy-saving property that you added to your home, including qualified insulation, windows, doors and roof. There is a maximum lifetime limit of $500 for all the items listed except for windows, which is $200.
You must reasonably expect the shingles to last five years, and you are not allowed to include labor costs. Form 5695 specifically states that metal or asphalt roofs must meet or exceed the Energy Star program requirements and have appropriate pigmented coatings or cooling granules that are specifically and primarily designed to reduce the heat gain from your home.
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