As part of the recent fiscal cliff deal passed by Congress, many green energy programs saw renewed focus and deadline extensions, allowing people to benefit from them for a little longer.

Included in these programs is the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property credit.

This allows eligible people to claim up to $1,000 in tax credits for the installation of a home electric car charging station, both this year and last year. If you installed a charging station in 2012, you have until April 15 to prepare and file your income tax return for 2012.

Chances to claim for stations installed in 2012 expired at the end of 2011, but the fiscal cliff deal has seen this extended.

The tax credit also extends to business and investment users, which allows for a maximum 30 percent credit, up to $30,000 per site.

Even if you don't run a business yourself, it could be an ideal opportunity to coerce your employer or local businesses into having charging points installed, on the basis they can claim up to $30,000 back, if eligible.

The charger you use may depend on the plug-in vehicle you own. Plug-in hybrids and range-extended electric cars like the Chevrolet Volt have relatively small batteries, which recharge in shorter times. You may be happy using a regular 110-volt circuit, where charging times aren't as quick, but don't need to be--and home chargers are cheaper as a result.

Full battery electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Focus Electric have larger batteries, so quicker chargers may be desired--in which case a level 2, 240-volt circuit may be more desirable.

Those who have installed a home charger for electric vehicles, or intend to this year, are advised to contact their tax advisor to determine their eligibility.

If you installed a station in 2012 and would like to see a $1,000 credit on your income tax return, now is the time to do so.


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