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Time Is Running Out on $300 Fireplace/Stove Tax Credit

Biomass Fuel CreditBack in January 2015, the federal government initiated a tax credit of $300 to individuals purchasing a biomass-burning fireplace or stove.  Surprisingly, many homeowners have never heard of this credit.  For those who are reading this, now you know, and you’ve got until the end of 2016 to make your purchase.

If “biomass” is an unfamiliar term, it simply means a fuel that comes from a plant-based source and is considered renewable.  In other words, the credit applies to purchases of both fireplaces and stoves that are fueled by wood, wood waste and wood residues, such as pellets.

In order to qualify for the tax credit, homeowners must purchase their appliances for use in their “principal residence.”  This means the home or dwelling you live in most of the time and includes houses, co-op apartments, manufactured homes, mobilehomes and houseboats.

If you’ve purchased a qualifying appliance already and claimed the tax credit, you may not claim the credit again.  The tax year in which citizens may claim the $300 biomass tax credit is the tax year in which the installation of the appliance is/was completed.  The credit applies only to homes within the United States.  (Get complete details about the tax credit through the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.)

Renewable energy is good for the planet

Surely in approving this tax credit, the government hopes to encourage people to use fuels that are considered renewable.  Gas, for example, and coal, are not renewable fuels.  All forms of wood are, because they come from trees, which grow naturally.  Although smoke from wood fires does penetrate into our atmosphere, it leaves no “carbon footprint,” because living trees absorb the toxins contained in the smoke.

Which appliances are approved in the tax credit?

Fireplaces and stoves meet the government’s requirements for tax credit eligibility.  Fireplace inserts may be included, but neither the government nor the IRS has written anything specific about inserts.  But the EPA similarly treats free-standing biomass stoves and inserts, and some insert manufacturers may state that their products qualify for the credit.

Regardless of the type of appliance, it must come with a thermal efficiency rating of 75%, according to the IRS.

Who should take advantage of this credit?

EPA Certified Pellet Stove

EPA Certified Pellet Stove

If you don’t have a fireplace or a free-standing stove but have been thinking about purchasing one, this is a good time to do it.  Wood-fueled heating units provide many advantages – aside from the $300 credit on your taxes through the end of 2016.  Along with a positive effect on the environment, a handsome wood stove or fireplace is an economical alternative to rising natural gas prices.  Also, the burning and crackling of a wood fire brings a touch of elegance to any home.  Last but not least, having a heat source that relies strictly on wood means the heat in your home won’t be lost in the event of a power outage.

Burlington Fireplace of Wisconsin carries a large selection of biomass fireplaces, stoves and inserts, and we can provide professional installation and maintenance of your new appliance, as well.  Check out all the choices by visiting us at 857 Milwaukee Ave. in Burlington, or give us a call at (262) 763-3522.

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