Tax incentives proposed for home furnishings purchases
Bill would give deductions, credits to consumers, retailers
Larry Thomas — Furniture Today, July 31, 2009
WASHINGTON — Two Georgia congressmen have filed a bill that would give a variety of income tax deductions and credits to consumers and retailers who purchase home furnishings and building products.
Known as the Home Improvements Revitalize the Economy (Hire) Act of 2009, the bill is designed to stimulate two industries the congressmen say have $67 billion in economic value.
“Not only would this bill help stimulate the manufacturing market for home furnishings and building products, it would save and create retail jobs, generate billions in revenue and increase home values at a time when we really need a boost,” said Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat who is co-sponsoring the bill with Republican Rep. Nathan Deal.
The bill would provide a tax deduction of up to $2,000 for families with household income of $300,000 or less who purchase qualifying home furnishings or building products through Dec.31, 2011.
The deduction could be taken even if the taxpayer doesn’t itemize other deductions.
For lower income families, the bill allows a tax credit of up to $500 for qualifying purchases. The income ceiling for the credit was not immediately clear.
In addition, retailers and contractors who purchase home furnishings and building products for resale to consumers are eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the wholesale purchase price. The credit would be capped at $10,000 annually.
The applicable deduction or credit would be doubled if the products meet recognized environmental standards such as Energy Star or LEED, according to the bill.
The bill defines qualified building products and home furnishings as those which are used in the taxpayer’s principal residence and installed within six months of the purchase date. Electronics, appliances, housewares, artwork, photographs and “other home decorations” are not eligible for any of the proposed deductions or credits.
The measure has been endorsed by the International Sleep Products Assn., the American Home Furnishings Alliance and the National Home Furnishings Assn.
The three groups are among 14 trade associations that make up the American Home Furnishings and Building Products Coalition, which was formed last December.
Even without tax incentives, and even if you don’t live in Georgia, this is a great time to invest in at least some of the wonderful new things for your home that you know you’ve been dreaming of! Not only will prices never be lower (and in some cases, may already be discounted), but it would still help stimulate the economy, which can only benefit us all. Plus, you’d then get all that enjoyment of your newly redesigned home for years to come!