Energy Tax Credit Program Exemplifies Why Congress Should Not Micromanage People with Tax Credits

November 10, 2010

The IRS is using press releases and video to promote the energy tax credit, but even the text of their promotion tells us why these credits are a bad idea.

Not all energy-efficient improvements qualify for these tax credits. For that reason, homeowners should check the manufacturer’s tax credit certification statement before purchasing or installing any of these improvements. The certification statement can usually be found on the manufacturer’s website or with the product packaging. Normally, a homeowner can rely on this certification.

The IRS cautions that the manufacturer’s certification is different from the Department of Energy’s Energy Star label, and not all Energy Star labeled products qualify for the tax credits.

If that buyer-beware warning doesn’t convince you that the program is absurdly complex and ought to be scrapped, check out the lovely form 5695.

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