End of the Year Income Tax Tips

December 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

The end of the year is fast approaching.  It may be a good time to review your personal income tax status to see if you can take advantage of last-minute credits.  Here are some helpful tips in this week’s News 13 Problem Solver.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, there are some income tax points that will continue for this year.  They cover employee health insurance, solar energy and education. 

Here is a look at some of the tax credits you may qualify for:

  • Small businesses get a credit for providing health insurance for employees.  For this year it is 35%.  The credit has been around since 2010 so if you have missed claiming, the tax returns can be amended to get a refund.  The credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in the amount of tax that the small business owes.
  • The solar energy and geo-thermal credits are still around – up to 30% on certain items.  If you made your home energy efficient this year, you may qualify for tax credits.
  • You may be eligible to claim a credit on your income tax return for the federal excise tax on certain fuels.  It depends on whether the fuel was taxed and the purpose for which you used the fuel such as farming and off-highway business use.
  • Education credits – the American Opportunity Credit allows up to $2500  of educational expenses to be deducted.  This is a credit which reduces taxes dollar for dollar.  This is also a partly refundable credit where even if you don’t owe any taxes you may qualify to get up to $1000 back in refund.

Here are some income tax notes to keep in mind:

  • The Home Energy Credit is going away this year for energy efficient appliances, and home improvements like energy efficient windows, doors, and insulation. (the “green energy is still here like solar, geo-thermal or other kinds of alternative energy sources).
  • For businesses, the Section 179 Deduction is being greatly reduced next year.   Small business clients they many want to purchase equipment this year to take advantage of the large write-off rather than put it off.
  • And, the $250 adjustment to income for teachers is also going away the end of this year.


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