As a homeowner you probably have a never-ending list of things you’d like to do to your home. Maybe you want to add a pool to your backyard, update the bathroom or design the ultimate man cave in your basement. While you’re racking up all these expenses, you’re likely to wonder if you can write off home improvements on your taxes. We have the answer.
Taxpayers who make energy efficient upgrades to their home may qualify for the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit. In prior years it was known as the Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit which had a lifetime credit limit of $500. Beginning January 2023, the credit has been expanded and renamed the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit. It is now worth 30% of total amount paid for qualifying home improvements or $1,200 per year, whichever is less. Eligible items include:
- Home energy audits,
- Exterior doors,
- Exterior windows and skylights
- Insulation and air sealing materials
- Central A/C units, natural gas, propane and oil water heaters, furnaces or hot water boilers
Electric or natural gas heat pump water heaters, electric or natural gas heat pumps, and biomass stoves and biomass boilers have a separate aggregate yearly limit of $2,000.
File now to claim your Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit. It’s fast, ez and stress-free.
Medically necessary home improvements
Living with a disability or chronic illness can be challenging. Things you take for granted such as reaching into a kitchen cabinet can be nearly impossible for those suffering. If your medical condition requires you to install special equipment or make certain home improvements, you may be able to deduct the medical expenses. Any improvements that increase the value of your home must be excluded. The IRS has a long list of fully deductible expenses which includes:
- Building entrance or exit ramps
- Expanding doorways at entrances or exits
- Widening or customizing hallways and interior doorways
- Installing railings and support bars to bathrooms
- Lowering or adjusting kitchen cabinets and equipment
- Relocating or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures
- Setting up porch lifts and other forms of lifts (Elevators typically add value so your deduction may be limited)
- Adjusting fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems
- Making modifications to the stairs
- Placing handrails or grab bars in any part of the house
- Changing the hardware on doors
- Reworking spaces in front of entrance and exit doors
- Leveling the ground to improve the home’s accessibility
Remember, you can only claim the deduction if you itemize. Additionally, your expenses must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. ezTaxReturn supports itemized deductions and is the ez-iest way to do your taxes. File on any device in 30 minutes or less.
Save money when you sell your home
Unfortunately, most of the projects on your to-do list won’t be tax deductible. Hold on to those receipts though because your improvements can reduce your taxes when you sell your home. Right now, the capital gains exclusion lets home sellers walk away with $250,000 of profits tax-free. Double the amount if you’re a joint filer. All the IRS requires is that you’ve lived in the home for two of the last five years.
To calculate your profit, take everything you paid for the house (original purchase price, closing costs, etc.) and add the cost of your improvements. This will give you your adjusted basis. Next, subtract the adjusted basis from whatever price you sold the home for to get your profit. Anything above the exclusion amount is taxable.
If you’re looking to increase your home’s value, here are some projects that can help.
- Additions – Bedroom, bathroom, deck, garage, porch, patio
- Lawn & grounds – Landscaping, driveway, walkway, fence, retaining wall, swimming pool
- Exterior – Storms windows/doors, new roof, new siding
- Systems – Central air conditioning, heating system, furnace, duct work, air/water filtration systems, lawn sprinkler systems, security systems
- Plumbing – Septic system, water heater, filtration system
- Interior – Flooring, fireplace, kitchen modernization, wall-to-wall carpeting
Please note, there’s no tax break for repairing items in your home. Replacing broken windowpanes, fixing leaks and repainting walls are just a part of being a homeowner.