Sooner or later, every house is going to need a new roof. Most, at some point, will need at least some new siding. These are major expenditures and a natural question is: Can I get any tax deduction for residing or re-roofing?. In general, the answer is no because the Internal Revenue Service considers these as maintenance or improvements intended to improve the life or value of the house. As with many tax issues, however, there are some ways at least part of new siding or new roofing could qualify for some tax benefits.
If you finance new siding and new roofing with a home equity loan or line of credit, you can deduct interest on that loan, just like interest on a primary mortgage. In most cases you will not have to specify what part of the loan is for siding and what is for roofing. All the interest on the loan, but not the loan itself, will be deductible.
Windows, Doors, Insulation
New windows and doors and added insulation qualify for tax credits until 2016. You can get up to 30 percent of the cost of these items as credits. If you install new siding as part of an energy efficiency upgrade with insulation, doors and windows, you may be able to deduct at least part of the cost as included in the improvement. You will be limited to the cost of materials, not installation fees.
Installing rooftop solar energy panels also qualifies for a 30 percent energy efficiency credit. You may be able to include new roofing that was required for solar panel installation. You will be limited to the cost of materials for both solar panels and roofing, not installation.
Upgrading a roof to a more energy-efficient metal or asphalt roof qualifies for energy-efficiency credits in some cases. You will need to ask a tax advisor or a roofing company about whether changing your current roof will qualify; replacing shingles on an old asphalt roof may not qualify.
Credits and Deductions
Energy efficiency tax credits are more valuable than deductions. A deduction just reduces your tax liability; a credit reduces your actual tax. If your taxable income is $30,000, for instance, and you get a $1,000 deduction, you pay taxes on $29,000. But if your tax bill is $1,000 and you get a $1,000 credit, you owe no taxes.
You also can qualify for some tax benefits if you can demonstrate that the siding or roofing are being replaced for medical reasons, but this can be difficult. You'll have to have a doctor's statement indicating that change to your living conditions are required. You may be able to demonstrate that some new siding was required to widen doorways or eliminate an allergy condition..
Bob Haring has been a news writer and editor for more than 50 years, mostly with the Associated Press and then as executive editor of the Tulsa, Okla. "World." Since retiring he has written freelance stories and a weekly computer security column. Haring holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri.