The purchase of a high-efficiency washer and dryer is one way to reduce both water and energy consumption, allowing you to pat yourself on the back for taking a greener approach to laundry. However, if you're hoping your new appliances will save you a little extra green in the form of tax credits, don't start itemizing your deductions just yet. While traditional energy-related savings are not available, there are a couple of other options at tax time.
Even though your HE washer and dryer may be branded with the Energy Star logo, your appliances don't qualify for federal tax credits. While homeowners can receive a tax break with certain qualified home improvements, the current tax credit, which expires on Dec. 31, 2016, provides for up to 30 percent of the cost of geothermal heat pumps, small wind residential turbines and solar energy systems only. Home appliances, however, do not qualify.
Business Use Depreciation Deduction
You may be eligible for a tax deduction if you have installed an HE washer and dryer in a rental property that you own. The property must be income-producing and the HE washer and dryer must have a determinable life span. Similarly, if you use an HE washer and dryer in your daily business; for instance, you own a bed and breakfast and you must wash linens regularly, or you own a kennel and must keep animal bedding clean, you can itemize your appliance as a business expense. The basis of the washer and dryer's cost includes the amount you put down in cash, or the amount of debt you owe on the appliances. You may also include delivery charges, installation and sales tax, if allowed in your state. According to the Internal Revenue Service, appliances can generally be depreciated over a 5-year period. You must file Form 1040 and attach Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss.
If you replace your existing HE washer and dryer with a new model, and donate your used appliances to a qualified charity, you can deduct the fair market value of the washer and dryer. According to DonationTown.org, washers and dryers make good donations, as long as they are in good working condition with no parts missing. Get a receipt when you donate your appliances; you'll need to prove your deduction to the IRS if you get audited.
Casualties or Loss
If someone is brazen enough to steal your HE washer and dryer from your home, or if you lose it to fire or other type of casualty, you can claim your loss on your tax return on Form 4684, Casualty and Theft Losses. Only losses in excess of 10 percent of your adjusted gross income are allowable. Casualty losses are carried on to Schedule A from IRS Form 4864.
Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.