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When Can The Solar 30% Federal Tax Credit Be Applied

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  • When Can The Solar 30% Federal Tax Credit Be Applied

    Hi,

    Usually I file my regular W2 income tax return in February, and usually get a return around March of the same year.

    If I purchase my solar panels in December of 2017, but they are not installed until say February 2018, will I be able to receive a tax credit for the system in 2018 or do I have to wait until 2019 to get a tax credit?

    Thanks
    [B]Keep It Simple, Stupid![/B]

  • #2
    The tax credit used to require them to be installed before you claim it. Although I believe it was updated to when construction begins. So if you can claim you have started building (go put a screw to hang the inverter) then you can claim it this year.
    Another thread being discussed:
    https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...-until-january
    Last edited by emartin00; 12-21-2017, 10:23 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by emartin00 View Post
      The tax credit used to require them to be installed before you claim it. Although I believe it was updated to when construction begins. So if you can claim you have started building (go put a screw to hang the inverter) then you can claim it this year.
      Another thread being discussed:
      https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...-until-january
      Right, and that makes sense, but what I'm not used to doing while filling out my regular income tax returns is reporting anything from the "current year (i.e. 2018). I'm only used to reporting items from the previous year. So can I ask for the federal tax credit (check) at anytime during 2018 and they will send me a check ...assuming maybe a month later? Or can you not ask for the federal tax credit until you file your own income tax returns?
      [B]Keep It Simple, Stupid![/B]

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      • #4
        If the system is claimed as a 2018 expense, you can not receive the credit until you file your 2018 return at the beginning of 2019.

        If you need the money sooner, and have income that is subject to withholding, you can attempt to lower the withholding so you effectively take the credit throughout 2018 in the form of higher take-home pay. A tax advisor could help.
        CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sensij View Post
          If the system is claimed as a 2018 expense, you can not receive the credit until you file your 2018 return at the beginning of 2019.

          If you need the money sooner, and have income that is subject to withholding, you can attempt to lower the withholding so you effectively take the credit throughout 2018 in the form of higher take-home pay. A tax advisor could help.
          I've been told otherwise which is what is confusing. I was told that if the system is completed and installed by say the end of February of 2018, when I file my tax income in say March of 2018, I can ask for the tax credit at that time when filing my taxes, and when I receive my return in 2018 I should also get my federal tax credit? In other words, even though the system was finished in 2018 instead of 2017, I wouldn't have to wait until 2019 to receive my federal tax credit. I'm also using a loan for the system, so waiting until 2019 would also mean I have to pay a lot of extra interest on the loan due to the tax filing period...?

          Edit*
          Also, I will be paying for the system this month (Dec. 2017) so technically it will be a 2017 expense, not a 2018 expense, it just will not get completely installed until 2018. Does that make a difference?
          Last edited by rs14smith; 12-21-2017, 04:22 PM.
          [B]Keep It Simple, Stupid![/B]

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rs14smith View Post

            I've been told otherwise which is what is confusing. I was told that if the system is completed and installed by say the end of February of 2018, when I file my tax income in say March of 2018, I can ask for the tax credit at that time when filing my taxes, and when I receive my return in 2018 I should also get my federal tax credit? In other words, even though the system was finished in 2018 instead of 2017, I wouldn't have to wait until 2019 to receive my federal tax credit. I'm also using a loan for the system, so waiting until 2019 would also mean I have to pay a lot of extra interest on the loan due to the tax filing period...?

            Edit*
            Also, I will be paying for the system this month (Dec. 2017) so technically it will be a 2017 expense, not a 2018 expense, it just will not get completely installed until 2018. Does that make a difference?
            Find a CPA, or if you got that info from a CPA, get a 2d opinion from either another CPA, or make a formal request to the IRS. Commonly PTO date is used, but opinions vary some.

            Free advice on a semi anonymous forum is worth about what you pay for it. Deemed well meant with no guarantees and no more.

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