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Fed tax credit with used equip and diy?

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  • Fed tax credit with used equip and diy?

    Hi,
    I'm gathering used parts (panels, mounts, etc) to build a very low cost, mostly diy residential pv system in CA.
    Can I get the 30% Fed tax credit with such a used components system? IRS form 5695 does not say, except for a statement about "original installation of the property". Should I interpret this as "credit can be taken only on new equipment, first time installation (no used equip)"?

    Can I claim any $ amount for my labor?

    Side question: I have access to some used panels. I've been searching the web for other used equipment, but I can't find anything. Why is that? Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but there must be a market for used equip.

    thanks

  • #2
    No, you can't put a dollar value on labor, if no payment is made.

    Only new equipment can be counted. Think about it this way... if there is a chance someone else already claimed the credit on the same piece of equipment, it probably won't be eligible.

    Why *must* there be a market for used equipment? The technology and regulations have been changing rapidly... Stuff installed 5 years ago isn't worth much today. (Especially when considering the difference in tax treatment)

    Consider getting a qualified tax expert involved, advice you get here carries no standing with the IRS.
    CS6P-260P/SE3000 - http://tiny.cc/ed5ozx

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      "Stuff installed 5 years ago isn't worth much today". That's exactly why I'm looking for used equip...won't cost much, and I wouldn't be out much if some of it didn't work. I can't see people just tossing old panels in the dump. Someone must be paying something for used equip somewhere

      thanks again

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      • #4
        I see a lot of used stuff on ebay, but a lot of it looks suspect. For example there are Sun Edison microinverters labeled "Tested to UL 1741 Standards" with no mention of "Listed" or the UL logo. There are Enphase M190 microinverters, a model that had some reliability problems. Panels themselves might be better found on local sites like Craigslist where shipping doesn't come into play.

        But it might cost the same to install new and get the tax refund. Check with a CPA, but I think you can receive the 30% refund based on all of the actual expenses including shipping, tax, permit, etc. I think buying used parts would be foolish for a serious system that will be installed on a house. You do plan to get the permits and do the agreement with the power company, right?
        Steve

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        • #5
          You'll find more used solar stuff on Craigslist. Ebay is oddly lacking used solar and much of it is overpriced
          2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dingodog View Post
            Hi,
            there must be a market for used equip.
            why? most installations are in place and left there. They only are removed when they stop working.
            I have seen a few installs where A$$ Hat installers sold used equipment form the 80s. One had a massive battery bank and 8 PV modules from the 80s They couldn't figure out why they had to run the generator so much. I had them send me photos of everything, photo one shows the array in full direct sunlight, then photo 3 shows the charge controller (flexMax 60) with reading of 200watts. not even a decent trickle charge.

            BTW, the last photo was of the receipt which showed that they paid for a FlexMax80. Installer not only sold them a worthless array but also shorted them on the Charge controller.
            I gave the installer a little call for the customer about that and they shipped the FLEXMax80 right away. Not much I could do about the array, they got exactly what they paid for, it just didn't perform like the installer claimed.

            As others have stated what you see on ebay is often the broken and replaced equipment from other installs. There was a reason it was replaced.
            No one just upgrades a functioning array.
            OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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            • #7
              Thanks for the comments! Great website.

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              • #8
                If this is a grid-tied install, most utility interconnect agreements mandate new equipment...
                BSEE, R11, NABCEP, >1200kW installed

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by solarix View Post
                  If this is a grid-tied install, most utility interconnect agreements mandate new equipment...
                  That is news to me. Never seen that restriction in an interconnect agreement other than ones that include an incentive, though I have not read all the different agreements (I have read quite a few of them)
                  Last edited by ButchDeal; 01-13-2018, 08:32 AM.
                  OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                    That is news to me. Never seen that restriction in an interconnect agreement other than ones that include an incentive, though I have not read all the different agreements (I have read quite a few of them)
                    That may be correct for some POCOs and not others, or partially correct for some others.

                    Fact remains, to the OP's question, you can't get a fed. tax credit for installing used equipment.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                      That may be correct for some POCOs and not others, or partially correct for some others.

                      Fact remains, to the OP's question, you can't get a fed. tax credit for installing used equipment.
                      Oh definitely on the incentives, and installing used equimemt is generally a bad idea but for the most part it is allowed.
                      OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                        Oh definitely on the incentives, and installing used equimemt is generally a bad idea but for the most part it is allowed.
                        But to be clear, as used equipment not eligible for federal tax credit. What a POCO, or local jurisdiction for that matter, may allow has nothing to do with federal tax credits.

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