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Save on Taxes While Saving the Environment

We’re going to risk saying the one word that will probably cause you to stop reading: TAXES!

Are you still with us? Great! It’s time to stop make taxes…taxing. Did you know going green can be good for the environment and for your tax situation? We know it’s hard to think green, when you’re not seeing a lot of green; but there are a lot of tax benefits available if you know where to find them. So we did the work and found some of the best green tax incentives you can take advantage of:

  • Donate to a Green Charity. Here are a few non-profits that could use your help. Of course, donations are tax deductible:
    • Ocean Conservancy
      Charity Navigator Rating: 90.9%
      Uses the best in science-based solutions to tackle the biggest threats to our ocean. One of the few non-profits dedicated to marine ecosystems.
    • Sierra Club
      Charity Navigator Rating: 94%
      Successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act.
    • Natural Resources Defense Council
      Charity Navigator Rating: 96.4%
      NRDC works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which life depends using judicial and legislative positions.
  • Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit
    Act before December 31, 2019 to claim a federal tax incentive that covers 30% of the cost of a solar electric and solar water heating systems to any owned home.
    For a list of other energy tax credits and how to claim them, click here.
  • Electronics Recycling Through a Non-Profit Such as All Green
    The key here is reusing over recycling slightly outdated electronics. There is tax credits available to encourage consumers to donate functioning electronics via nonprofits such as All Green. “The IRS makes this credit available so that individuals are more likely to put an item into reuse as soon as possible while it has the highest fair market value,” said All Green’s Arman Sadejhi.
    For more information, check out the Internal Revenue Service’s Guide to Charitable Contributions – Publication 526 – at irs.gov.
  • Electric Vehicle Incentives
    If you buy an electric vehicle, you may be entitled to a tax credit of up to $7,500. The tax credit begins to phase out when a manufacturer sells 200,000 qualified vehicles – after that, the credit begins to shrink.
  • Non-business Energy Property Credit
    If you pay for certain qualified energy efficiency improvements in your home, you may be able to take a credit equal to the sum of 10% of the amount paid or incurred for those improvements (not including installation). Qualified improvements include adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and skylights, exterior doors, and metal or asphalt roofs designed to reduce heat in your home. A credit is also available for certain high-efficiency heating and air-conditioning systems, as well as high-efficiency water heaters and stoves that burn biomass fuel (including installation). The lifetime limit for these improvements and systems is $500.

You might be thinking…what about the bike I bought to ride to work instead of using my car, the organic food I buy, or the rain barrel I purchased to capture rainwater? Unfortunately, those are still not tax deductible. But guess what? You’re reducing your carbon footprint and more importantly, these are savings that will help everyone.

So think about the future because going green in 2017 will save you much green in 2018!