Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Back in 2008, the EPA and the Department of Energy decided to offer 30% tax credits for solar-powered systems to encourage Americans to use solar power. From an economic stand point, if you are a homeowner installing solar panels at your home might be a money saving solution worth considering.

Solar tax credits were enacted in 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which included $18 billion in incentives for renewable energy technologies, along with energy efficiency improvements. The 2008 legislation extended the solar investment tax credit (ITC) through December 31, 2016, which means that the solar industry faces the end of the line for the 30% federal tax credit.

What does it mean for you as a homeowner?

It means that if you’ve shopping around for solar panels but didn’t commit to it, now might be the best time to make the move to solar.

What types of solar electric systems qualify for the 30% Federal Tax Credit?*

  • ANY complete solar power package, for home or business.
  • Emergency battery backup system, as long as the purchase includes at least one solar panel.
  • Product purchases that expand your existing solar power system and include at least one solar panel.
  • Solar System for RV and boat that has been accepted by the IRS as a second home for tax purposes.*

Some Facts Regarding Eligibility of the Federal Tax Credit: *

  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.
  • If the federal tax credit exceeds your tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year.
  • There is no ceiling on the tax credit.
  • Applies to equipment AND installation costs.
  • For Residential Renewable Energy Systems, use IRS Tax Form 5695 to report your expenses. (It can be used for any residence, not just your primary one.)
  • Commercial systems have similar guidelines as residential systems but use IRS Tax Form 3468.
  • See other state, county, city and utility company rebates and incentives.

* Every individual’s tax situation is different. Please consult a tax professional to make sure your situation is applicable.

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