Monday, February 29, 2016

Home Energy Credits Save Money and Cut Taxes

You can trim your taxes and save on your energy bills with certain home improvements. Here are some key facts to know about home energy tax credits:

Non-Business Energy Property Credit 
  • Part of this credit is worth 10 percent of the cost of certain qualified energy-saving items you added to your main home last year. This may include items such as insulation, windows, doors and roofs.
  • The other part of the credit is not a percentage of the cost. It is for the actual cost of certain property. This may include items like water heaters and heating and air conditioning systems. The credit amount for each type of property has a different dollar limit.
  • This credit has a maximum lifetime limit of $500. You may only use $200 of this limit for windows.
  • Your main home must be located in the U.S. to qualify for the credit.
  • Be sure you have the written certification from the manufacturer that their product qualifies for this tax credit. They usually post it on their website or include it with the product’s packaging. You can rely on it to claim the credit, but do not attach it to your return. Keep it with your tax records.
  • You may claim the credit on your 2015 tax return if you didn’t reach the lifetime limit in past years. Under current law, this credit is available through Dec. 31, 2016.
Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit
  • This tax credit is 30 percent of the cost of alternative energy equipment installed on or in your home.
  • Qualified equipment includes solar hot water heaters, solar electric equipment, wind turbines and fuel cell property.
  • There is no dollar limit on the credit for most types of property. If your credit is more than the tax you owe, you can carry forward the unused portion of this credit to next year’s tax return.
  • The home must be in the U.S. It does not have to be your main home, unless the alternative energy equipment is qualified fuel cell property.
  • This credit is available through 2016.
Use Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits, to claim these credits. For more information on this topic, refer to the form’s instructions. You can get IRS forms anytime on

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on

Friday, February 26, 2016

Determine if the Net Investment Income Tax Applies to You

If you have income from investments, you may be subject to the Net Investment Income Tax. You may owe this tax if you receive investment income and your income for the year is more than certain limits. Here are some key tips you should know about this tax:
  • Net Investment Income Tax.  The law requires a tax of 3.8 percent on the lesser of either your net investment income or the amount by which your modified adjusted gross income exceeds a threshold amount based on your filing status.
  • Income threshold amounts.  You may owe this tax if your modified adjusted gross income is more than the following amount for your filing status:
Filing Status
Threshold Amount
Single or Head of household
Married filing jointly            
Married filing separately    
Qualifying widow(er) with a child

  • Net investment income.  This amount generally includes income such as:
    • Interest,
    • Dividends,
    • Capital gains,
    • Rental and royalty income, and
    • Non-qualified annuities.
This list is not all-inclusive. Net investment income normally does not include wages and most self-employment income. It does not include unemployment compensation, Social Security benefits or alimony. It also does not include any gain from the sale of your main home that you exclude from your income.

Refer to Form 8960, Net Investment Income Tax, to see if this tax applies to you. You can check the form’s instructions for the details on how to figure the tax.
Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on

Additional IRS Resources:

Questions and Answers on the Net Investment Income Tax

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Here’s What You Need to Do with Your Form 1095-A

This year, you may receive one or more forms that provide information about your 2015 health coverage.  These forms are 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C. This tip is part of a series that answers your questions about these forms.

Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, provides you with information about your health care coverage if you or someone in your family enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Here are the answers to questions you’re asking about Form 1095-A:

Will I get a Form 1095-A?
  • The Marketplace will send you a Form 1095-A if you, your spouse or a dependent enrolled in coverage for 2015. Most individuals did not enroll in Marketplace coverage and will not receive this form.
  • The Marketplace may send you more than one Form 1095-A if any of these apply:
    • Members of your household were not all enrolled in the same health plan
    • You updated your family information during the year
    • You switched plans during the year
    • You had family members enrolled in different states
  • The Form 1095-A is not new, but some people may receive it for the first time this year.
How do I use the information on my Form 1095-A?
  • This form provides information about your Marketplace coverage, including the names of covered individuals and which months they were covered last year.  
  • Use the information from Form 1095-A to complete Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, and reconcile advance payments of the premium tax credit or – if you are eligible – to claim the premium tax credit on your tax return.
  • If you received advance payments, which are shown on lines 21-33 of Form 1095-A, you must file a tax return, and include Form 8962, even if you are not otherwise required to file a return.  Filing your return without reconciling your advance payments will delay your refund and may affect future advance credit payments.
  • If Form 1095-A, Part II shows coverage for you and everyone in your family for the entire year, you can simply check the full-year coverage box on your tax return to satisfy the individual shared responsibility provision.
  • If there were months that you did not have coverage, you should determine if you qualify for an exemption from the requirement to have coverage. If not, you must make an individual shared responsibility payment.
  • Do not attach Form 1095-A to your tax return - keep it with your tax records.
What if I don’t get my Form 1095-A?
  • If you are expecting to receive a Form 1095-A, you should wait to file your 2015 income tax return until you receive this form.  Filing before you receive this form may delay your refund.
  • The IRS does not issue and cannot provide you with your Form 1095-A. If you are expecting a form and do not get one, you should contact your Marketplace. Visit your Marketplace’s website to find out the steps you need to follow to get a copy of your Form 1095-A online.
  • You can find more information about your Form 1095-A from the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Depending upon your circumstances, you might also receive Forms 1095-B and 1095-C. For information on these forms, see our Questions and Answers about Health Care Information Forms for Individuals.