Angie's List: Take advantage of tax credits

As 2011 comes to an end, so do federal tax credits available for certain home improvement projects. According to the consumer review website, Angie's List, the time to take advantage of these credits is now.

The credits relate mostly to energy-efficient improvements including heating, ventilating, insulation, roofing, water heaters, biomass stoves, windows and doors. In some cases, homeowners can get up to $500 back on a project.

If you decide you want to take on a project and take advantage of the tax credits, make sure you do your homework. Angie's List creator Angie Hicks says, "Consumers need to be in the driver's seat when they are shopping because not every product is going to qualify for the tax credit. Don't rely solely on the company doing the installation - also check with your tax consultant."

Angie's List has some buying tips for consumers, to help make sure you're properly taking advantage of the credits.

  • It pays to do your research: It's important for homeowners to research the credits for home improvement products before buying. Each item has its own requirements in order to qualify. For example, the tax credit for insulation does not include insulation costs.
  • Save for tax time: Homeowners need to save receipts and the signed statement from the manufacturer certifying the product qualifies for the tax credit. If you have both of those items, you'll be better prepared when tax time rolls around.