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Taking Advantage of Federal Solar Energy Tax Credits

Solar Energy

Low pollution, energy savings, and a minor carbon impact are just some of the many advantages of solar power. In 2006, the U.S. government implemented federal solar tax credits for new residential and commercial systems to stimulate the spread of solar energy. Reduce your outlay for machinery and set up with this tax credit.

The purpose, scope, and eligibility requirements of the federal solar tax credit are all covered in this article.

What is a Tax Credit?

A tax credit is a dollar sum that may be used against a taxpayer’s tax liability. In contrast to regular tax payments, deductions lower one’s taxable income. Further, tax credits lower due taxes on a dollar-for-dollar basis. In comparison, deductions reduce ultimate tax obligation within an individual’s tax rate.

Tax credits are offered by the federal government and many state governments to people and businesses who engage in activities that are good for the economy, the environment, or both.

Federal Tax Credits for Solar Energy

The federal home solar energy credit, often known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), was established by the United States government in 2006. Since then, the solar energy business has exploded. By the beginning of 2022, solar would account for half of all new electricity-generating capacity installed in the United States.

The federal residential solar energy credit is available to anyone who buys and installs a solar photovoltaic system in their home. Reduced taxable income thanks to a credit against eligible solar power system installation costs. It’s a nonrefundable credit, so it can only be used to reduce taxes owed down to zero; any leftover credit won’t be given as a refund.

The system must produce power for a U.S. residence and be put into operation during the same tax year to be eligible for the tax credit. Systems with full installations are considered “put in service” by the IRS.

Government tax credits for solar energy installations have been extended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. However, the value of these credits has been decreasing over time. Tax credits are valued as follows:

      • 30% if systems are operational by the end of the year 2019.
      • Until January 1, 2023, a 26% discount applies to systems put into service after December 31, 2019.
      • 22% for systems deployed between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2022.

After December 31, 2023, the tax credit will no longer be available and will not be renewed. There is no maximum claim amount, and the tax credit only applies to a percentage of eligible expenses.

Average percent savings in the U.S. from solar energy

In addition to lowering your carbon impact, solar power may save you money on your monthly electricity costs. Although the upfront cost of installing a solar energy system may be as high as $17,000, consumers may save money when factoring in the federal solar tax credit and their monthly electricity costs.

With solar energy, Americans may save around $1,500 yearly or $37,500 over 25 years. A solar energy system that costs $17,000 may be installed for just $12,180, thanks to a tax credit of 26%. Solar energy will have paid for itself in around eight years if you split the installation cost by the average annual savings.

The total amount you may save might range from $10,000 to $90,000. Factors such as grid costs in the area, roof size, location, state incentives, and energy consumption all play a role in arriving at a more accurate savings estimate.

Federal Solar Tax Credit Eligibility

There are a few requirements to qualify for the tax credit.

      • If you put in the solar photovoltaic system between 2006 and 2023, you’ll get a 25% rebate.
      • Your home or secondary U.S. dwelling, or an off-site community solar project, hosts the solar PV system.
      • Your solar photovoltaic array is your property. It’s the first time you’ve used the solar PV system.
      • Remember that federal or state incentives could impact your tax credits.

The following are eligible for reimbursement thanks to the federal solar tax credit.

      • A solar attic fan is powered by photovoltaic cells or PV panels.
      • Costs associated with acquiring necessary permits, paying for necessary inspections, and paying the developer for their time all add up to the price of hiring a contractor to do the work on-site.
      • Accessories, including cables, inverters, and mounting hardware, make up the balance of the system.
      • Batteries that can only be recharged by the solar PV panels close to them.
      • Costs that qualify for sales tax exemption.

Tips for Applying for the Federal Solar Tax Credit

How to Apply for the Federal Solar Energy Tax Credit

      • Get IRS Form 5695 here to file your taxes.
      • To start, fill in line 1 with the total amount you’ve spent on the project.
      • Finalize the tally on lines 6a and 6b.
      • If solar power is your sole stated energy source and you don’t have any carry-forward amounts from the prior year, you may skip lines 7 through 12.
      • Take the sum of lines 6b, 11, and 12 and input it on line 13.
      • Line 14 is where you’ll calculate your maximum tax obligation.
      • Write the rest of lines 15 and 16.
Solar Energy

Featured Image: Freepik  © Freepik

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