Just Weeks Left to Grab These 4 ‘Green’ Tax Credits

These federal income tax breaks were recently extended -- but only for this tax season. Here's how to cash in on them by Uncle Sam's deadline.

Just Weeks Left to Grab These 4 ‘Green’ Tax Credits Photo by FS11 / Shutterstock.com

The recent Bipartisan Budget Act renewed some tax breaks that could help your bottom line this tax season.

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it’s now ready to process 2017 tax returns — due on April 17 — with four newly extended “green” tax breaks. They are the credits for:

  • Residential energy claimed on
  • Alternative motor vehicles claimed on
  • Qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles claimed on
  • Certain two- or three-wheeled vehicles claimed on

These tax breaks technically had expired after tax year 2016, meaning you could no longer claim them. But the Bipartisan Budget Act, signed into law in February, retroactively renewed them for tax year 2017. So, if you’re eligible for these credits, you can claim them this tax season — but not after that.

If you already filed your tax return this year, you still can claim these credits by filing an amended return — what the IRS calls .

Unlike regular tax returns, though, amended returns cannot be filed electronically. And the IRS says it can take up to 16 weeks for an amended return to be processed.

Still, the annoyance of having to file an amended return could be well worth it, since tax credits are the best kind of tax break. Check out “Pop Quiz: Is It Better to Have a Tax Credit or a Tax Deduction?“:

“A tax credit wins every time. The reason is simple. A tax deduction lowers your taxable income, while a tax credit lowers your tax bill dollar for dollar.”

For more news and tips for the current tax-filing season — including three popular tax breaks that were also recently extended for 2017 returns– check out our other 2018 tax stories.

What’s your take on this news? Share your thoughts below or over on .

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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