Even if you purchase multiple products you can only get a maximum of $1,500 over the 2-year period (2009 & 2010). Basically you can spend up to $5,000 during this 2 year period on a single or multiple products, for your principal residence that you own and live in, and get 30% or $1,500 (30% of $5,000 = $1,500) back as a tax credit. If you get the entire $1,500 credit in 2009, then you can't get anything additional in 2010.
Two or more unmarried people living in the same home who own it jointly are each eligible for the tax credit on the amount of money they each individually spend to make home improvements - up to a maximum of $1,500 total for the home. Example: Person A pays $3,000 towards new windows, and Person B pays $2,000 towards the new windows (for a total expenditure of $5,000 on new windows). Person A will get 3/5 ($3000 = 3/5 of $5000) of the $1,500 tax credit or $900, and Person B will get 2/5 of the $1,500 tax credit ($2,000 = 2/5 of $5,000) or $600.
The $1,500 tax credit does not double for married people filing jointly... unless both you and your spouse owned and lived apart in separate main homes.
Details on Tax Credits.
Note: The $1,500 maximum does not apply to geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, fuel cells, and wind generators. These are all eligible for a 30% tax credit with no upper limit. However, the tax credit for fuel cells is limited to $500 per .5 kW of power capacity. The tax credit with no upper limit is completely separate from the one limited to $1,500 - so you can get both. For example, you can get $1,500 back for new windows, and $3,000 back for a new geothermal heat pump - for a total tax credit of 4,500. Here are some other issues to consider:
- these are "non-refundable" tax credits so you can't get more back in tax credits than you pay in federal income tax (more...)
- only the tax credits that are not limited to the $1,500 cap can be carried forward to future years (more...)