How to use the solar federal tax credit

by Anders Alexander

The federal tax credit for solar returns 30% the cost of the system back to the homeowner. It’s a really important part of buying solar, and it’s important to use the tax credit correctly. The correct way to use the solar federal tax credit is to consult a professional tax accountant.

The main reason to at least check with a professional about your taxes before going solar, is that everyone’s taxes are different and each person needs to understand how going solar will affect their taxes in that particular year.

The solar industry has a generally agreed upon interpretation of the tax language. New roofs, not any part of it, qualifies for the tax credit. The electrical wiring in your home does not apply either. The costs that do apply is everything regarding the direct installation of the system and the electrical panel in your home. If you have an old electric panel that needs replacing, or one that does not work for solar then that cost does get included in the federal tax credit.

The year in which you can claim the credit should not be confusing at all. The year in which the system passed the electrical inspection is the year in which you can begin claiming the credit. In Washington the State L&I website records the passed inspection date for public record. Payment on the system does not qualify to get any portion of the tax credit if the system is installed the following year.

The solar tax credit is simple, but it’s a constant source of confusion.

Reviewing qualification for the tax credit is part of the quoting process here at Bloom Solar, its an important step in verifying that a solar project is appropriate for a homeowner.