Tax day is already behind us for 2017, and if you’re like most Americans, you don’t want to think about taxes again for a very long time. Unfortunately, the months roll around faster than anybody realizes. Before you know what hit you, it’ll be time to start thinking about your state and federal returns once again.
In fact, people are often caught off guard when they remember the approaching tax deadline. Many people rush through their returns, just wanting to cross it off the list for another year. In the process, many useful tax breaks are often overlooked.
We’ve been seeing an uptick in the number (and types) of tax breaks available to people who make energy-saving modifications to their homes — and since home automation (also known as smart home technology) is becoming more and more mainstream these days, it begs the question: Can American homeowners expect tax breaks for home automation installations?
The short answer
Basically, American tax codes have not yet caught on to smart home technology in particular, and how this can help homeowners save money. The law makes provisions (which tend to change from year to year) for homeowners who invest in things like solar, wind, or even an electric vehicle. But a smart lighting, HVAC or sprinkler system has yet to bring clear, specific tax breaks to American homes.
Given the energy savings available with smart home technology, it won’t be surprising if specific tax breaks do appear in coming years. For now, however, it’s best to be careful about which aspects of smart home technology are declared as “tax deductible” on your annual return. If there’s any doubt, erring on the side of caution (or consulting a tax specialist) is probably the best way to make sure you’re getting your fair due for smart home improvements made during the previous year.
Even if the government won’t give you a break (yet) for those smart home installations you’ve made, at least you still have the energy savings and lifestyle benefits of the technology itself. Smart lighting systems make a big difference in your daily lighting usage, and can allow you to ‘recall’ certain lighting configurations instantly. Smart thermostat technology saves you hundreds of dollars a year — even thousands, in some cases — by making your HVAC usage more efficient every single day. Smart sprinkler systems curb water usage, which is becoming increasingly important in draught-affected areas like California.
Where to go for advice
Home automation specialists have a high level of expertise in terms of home automation. It’s important to remember that they aren’t manufacturers, and they aren’t trying to sell specific products. Instead, they take all of the available technology into consideration, and make recommendations that really have an impact on your smart home purchases and installation. It’s just not that easy to get really fantastic results when you’re mixing and matching different smart home devices, and trying to install them yourself. Home automation specialists are an excellent resource for maximizing your smart home savings.