Friday, February 6, 2009

Tax Time

When I first saw that the House of 42 Doors was on the National Registry of Historic Places, I was a bit uncertain if it was a good idea to buy it. After all, who hasn't heard a horror story about an historic property that couldn’t be updated without first attaining approval from an autocratic board of pedantic scholars? Owning an historic property appealed more to my ego than my common sense, so I did more research to figure out the pros and cons.

Now that it’s tax time, it’s finally time to take advantage of one of those pros. In 2007 and 2008 we had contractors replace the sewer and electricians rewire the entire house. The total cost of all that work was $19,600. It broke down to around $13,000 for the electrical and $6,600 for the sewer. The great state of Wisconsin offers a tax credit for certain types of work done on historic properties. The sewer and electrical work we did was certified and approved. Now it’s time to get back our money.

The program allows for 25% of the money spent to be credited back. In our case, that’s a tax credit of $4900. It turns out though that Wisconsin has an Alternative Minimum Tax, which means that even though our tax credits are sufficient enough that we wouldn’t have to pay any state tax this year, the Wisconsin AMT kicks in, meaning we still have to pay in. It also means that we’re only going to be able to recoup about $2300 this year. It’s going to take us three years to get back all of our money. I’m thrilled to be getting back any money. I just wish I could get it back sooner.

Another bit of good news is that we’ve had no more rodents in the traps, and short of our long-term resident in the office, no more noises in the walls.

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