New windows and tax incentives: What’s the payoff?

I’ve been cleaning my windows the last few weeks, and all I have to say is these Marvin Integrity windows were worth every cent. The fact that they angle in so you can clean the outside while you’re inside is totally genius.

But when we got our taxes done, I was curious if the tax incentives everyone talks about are really worth it. In other words, would we get any kind of compensation for upgrading to energy-efficient windows?

On our federal taxes this year, our credit was $200. That’s almost laughable. That’s less than the cost of one window.

BUT don’t stop reading yet! On the state side of things, we were able to write off the entire amount—more than $12,000. Guys, that’s crazy. You’ll need to talk to your own accountant before making the decision based on this tax info, but for us, it was a nice surprise.

Photo by Casey James Photography

Here’s the skinny: The Idaho tax law for 2017 (that means it will be different next year because #politiciansarefools) states this:

  • To qualify for the energy-efficiency upgrade, your residence must have been built prior to Jan. 1, 2002
  • Windows must replace less-efficient existing windows
  • Storm windows, weather stripping and caulking, and duct sealing and insulation are also eligible for this tax credit

(State tax code will obviously vary state to state.)

So if you’re on the fence about new windows, consider all this, give you tax guy a call, then you too can spend next spring polishing your windows without climbing a single ladder. Cheers! •

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