Q. I installed a furnace in my home earlier this year. Can I claim an energy credit for the cost? K.D., Rockville, Md.
A. No. In its last reincarnation, the residential energy credit was generally equal to 10% of the cost of qualified expenditures, up to a maximum of $500. But this credit officially expired on Dec. 31, 2011. Although there have been some rumblings in Congress, it does not appear likely that the credit will be reinstated, at least not for 2012. But talks may heat up again after the election.
Tip: At least you can add to the cost of energy-saving improvements to your home’s basis. This will reduce the amount of any taxable gain when you sell.