Sure, I’m much more aware of my personal finances now, and made some very positive changes in 2007, but looking back, I realize I’ve also made some very-avoidable mistakes, for which I’m kicking myself.
My first mistake is also the most annoying to me, since I’ll be feeling the impact of this particular poor decision as I trudge through my tax filing in the next two months.
1. Failing to Utilize the Energy Tax Credit
A tax law change in 2005 meant to encourage energy-conscious home investments by consumers offered a ten percent tax credit for 2006 and 2007 purchases of energy-efficient exterior doors, windows, insulation systems, metal roofs, furnaces and water heaters.
The credit, up to $500 in total, could be split across the two years.
In 2006, I was thrilled to take a $140 tax credit for new windows I’d purchased for my home, but planned to use the remaining $360 credit for door and window purchases in 2007.
I knew I needed to buy several exterior doors, knew they’d be expensive, had all year to make the purchases, and yet I failed to do so. My rationale? I figured that if I kept haunting the returned special order bins at Home Depot and Lowe’s, I’d eventually find dirt-cheap doors, and the savings would justify the wait.
Now it’s the first day of 2008, I still have no doors for my home’s impending remodel, and I lost out on a $360 tax credit I badly needed to offset my 2007 income.
The only way to make up for this now is if I really do find an insane deal on the doors I need, and with a month left until I need them for the remodel, that’s not looking likely.
I have 4 more mistakes to share; stay tuned.
Treasury and IRS Provide Guidance for Energy Credits for Homeowners [IRS]
Rebates and Tax Credits for Windows, Doors, and Skylights [EnergyStar.gov]
Updated June 24, 2016 and originally published January 1, 2008.