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  • Pat Kelly CPA

Solar Tax Credits

Do I qualify for the solar panel tax credit?

As long as you own your solar energy system, you are eligible for the solar tax credit. Even if you don’t have enough tax liability to claim the entire credit in one year, you can “roll over” the remaining credits into future years for as long as the tax credit is in effect. However, remember that if you sign a lease or PPA with a solar installer, you are not the owner of the system, and thus you cannot receive the tax credit.


How do I claim the solar tax credit?

You claim the solar tax credit when you file your yearly federal tax return. At Joplin Tax Service, we can help!



What is the solar tax credit?

The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value. Thanks to the ITC, the average solar home owner saves thousands of dollars on the cost of going solar in 2020.


What does the federal solar tax credit extension mean for the solar industry?

The federal ITC was originally established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and was set to expire at the end of 2007. A series of extensions pushed the expiration date back to the end of 2016, but experts believed that an additional five-year extension would bring the solar industry to its full maturity. Thanks to the spending bill that Congress passed in late December 2015, the tax credit is now available to homeowners in some form through 2021. Here are the specifics:

  • 2016 – 2019: The tax credit remains at 30 percent of the cost of the system. This means you can still get a major discount off the price for your solar panel system.

  • 2020: Owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 26 percent of the cost of the system from their taxes.

  • 2021: Owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 22 percent of the cost of the system from their taxes.

  • 2022 onwards: Owners of new commercial solar energy systems can deduct 10 percent of the cost of the system from their taxes. There is no federal credit for residential solar energy systems.


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