The 2020 Solar Tax Credit is a 26% Federal Tax Credit for solar PV systems installed before December 31, 2020. It will decrease to 22% for systems installed in 2021, and the tax credit expires starting in 2022 for residential solar unless Congress renews it. There is no maximum amount that can be claimed.
The total amount of the tax credit can be calculated relatively easily. You can calculate the tax credit amount by taking thirty (26) percent of the solar energy system’s total cost. If you install your system in 2020, a solar energy system that costs $20,000 would have a tax credit that would be $20,000 x 26%= $5,200.
If you install solar in 2021, the solar tax credit will decrease to 22%. So for the same system that costs $20,000 your tax credit in 2021 would be $20,000 x 22% = $4,400.
The Federal Solar Tax credit was established as a part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to expand the US renewable energy market.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 created an ITC (Investment Tax Credit), perhaps more commonly known as the federal solar tax credit is a Federal tax credit equal to a percentage of the total qualified costs of installing a solar energy system. This tax incentive was extended numerous times, and then in 2015, the Omnibus Appropriates Act (PL 114-113) included a multi-year extension with a step-down tax credit.
This step-down extension means that the tax credit will drop over time. It dropped to 26%, starting in 2020, and will continue to fall till 2022. This tax credit can be claimed when you file your Federal taxes. Even if you don’t have enough Federal tax liability to claim the full amount in a single year, you have up to three years to claim the tax liability’s total amount.
With the Renewable Energy credit, you subtract your credit amount from the total tax liability the IRS says that you must pay. There is no limit on the maximum amount that can be claimed,
The Federal Tax Credit is different than a tax deduction in that it reduces the amount of income you pay taxes on. A $1,000 credit is worth $1,000 regardless of your tax rate,
If you can’t use all of the Federal Tax Credit in one year, you can carry it over later. If your federal taxes are $5,000 for 2020 and you’re eligible for an $8,000 tax credit for installing a solar energy system for your home, you can claim the remaining $3,000 tax credit towards your 2021 taxes. However, not every type of solar installation or expenses is eligible for the solar tax credit. Only qualified solar energy systems that meet the IRS guidelines and product electricity are covered.
The entire bill for a qualified solar energy system, minus the sales tax, qualifies for the solar tax credit. That includes the solar panels, labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly, permits, installation, racking, and piping to connect and activate your solar energy system for your home.
You must have Federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit across the next three (3) years.
2019 was the last year for the 30% solar investment tax credit (ITC) for projects that improve energy efficiency and lower the carbon footprint of residential and commercial buildings. In 2020, the tax credit gets reduced to 26%, and this credit gets smaller with each passing year.
You have to keep in mind that the federal solar tax credit is nonrefundable and is only possible for the system owner. Therefore, homeowners with a solar energy system through a Solar Lease or Power Purchase Agreement are not eligible for the solar ITC.
We recommend that you contact and consult your personal tax advisor for eligibility and any questions about your tax situation.
With the expiring solar tax credit, don’t wait too long to get a quote on solar. Always seek a professionals help when considering solar for your home since they will have the best knowledge on how to handle your home energy situation in an efficient manner. If you are in need of home solar in California? Call Forme Solar at (714) 694-2262 and request a solar quote today!