A big part of your solar investment (up to ~90%) can be recouped via a handful of generous tax credits from the federal government, NYS government, and NYC Finance. We are posting them here because we think it would be helpful. If you are a customer of ours you will receive a customized version. If you are looking for solar tax credit information for NYC this may also be helpful. We are always happy to answer questions about how the tax credits are calculated, but have to put the standard disclaimer our there- please consult with your tax adviser when filing for these tax credits.
These forms come out at the same time every year, so if you are just getting installed in 2017 you will need to wait until next year at this time for the 2017 versions. Without further ado, we give you 2016 Solar Tax Credit Forms:
Federal Residential Energy Credit:
30% of the gross system cost less any cash rebates (NYSERDA rebate for NYS residents). This tax credit was recently extended into 2019 @ 30% and declines to 10% in 2022. If you can't use the full credit in the tax year, you may carry forward any remaining amounts in to the next tax year. Note: if you are self employed your self employment tax is not considered in this tax credit calculation. Check it out:
New York State Solar Energy System Equipment Credit:
New York State is clearly leading the way in terms of state funded incentives for solar. Not only do you receive a per watt cash rebate for solar found HERE . Once you qualify your project with NYSERDA and have the system constructed you will be eligible for a 25% of system cost (less rebate) or $5000, which ever is lower, personal income tax credit. The way this is calculated for solar leases and PPA are different and a little complex. Read the instructions for IT-255 for more detail. If you buy the solar system its pretty straight forward. Here is the current IT-255 form:
New York State Historic Homeowner Tax Credit
This is a pretty rare but highly attractive incentive for homeowners who live in specific historic districts in New York state. It is designed to help homeowners make capital improvements to properties in lower income census tracts. It's pretty sweet if you qualify. You can learn how to find out if you qualify by watching this video HERE. We use the gross system cost less cash rebate to calculate the 20% personal income tax credit. Your accountant may feel otherwise. If you are a customer of ours, we will usually help you file for this. Here is the info:
New York City Solar Panel Property Tax Abatement
Last but certainly not least, is the solar panel property tax abatement in NYC. This is a great NYC specific solar electric incentive which allows homeowners to reduce their property tax by 5% of the solar system cost for 4 years. Once the solar system is inspected and signed off by DOB you/we will file the PTA4 Form. Department of Finance will ensure this amount will show as an abatement on your property tax. The abatement shows up in the following tax year (starts in July). Here is the form:
We hope this was helpful for you. As always, let us know if you have any questions!