Deep levels in 4H- and 6H-SiC are characterized by FTIR spectroscopy. Vanadium, chromium and the silicon vacancy related center are listed together with the unidentified defects with emission and absorption in the near IR region. We suggest the UD-1, UD-3 and I-1 to be impurity related while the UD-2 and UD-4 to be intrinsic defects based on annealing behavior and the possibility to create the defect with irradiation. We have also tentatively assigned a new defect center around 1.0 eV to the carbon vacancy-antisite pair instead of the earlier assignment to the UD- 2 defect in 4H-SiC. We have shown that to get more information about the SiC samples a combination of absorption and luminescence techniques are very useful. Further, the use of below bandgap selective excitation is necessary to obtain more information about the defects present in the sample. FTIR absorption and luminescence measurements are useful tools to characterize deep levels important for both semi-insulating material as well as low doped conducting material where the free carrier lifetime is limited by deep levels.