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How to Claim the Federal 30% Solar Tax Credit using Form 5695

Avatar for Ben Zientara
Published on 02/27/2018 in
Updated 01/01/2020

Note: The information below applies for people whose solar panel installations were fully interconnected and placed into service before midnight on January 1, 2020. The Federal Solar Tax Credit has now “stepped down” from 30% to 26% for all installations completed in 2020. An updated version of this page is coming soon.

It’s that time of year again—tax time! But this year is different, because this was the year you installed solar panels on your home (or qualifying property), and now you’re ready to get that big fat tax credit to take 30% right off the top of that expense. And we’re here to help guide you through the process!

And hey—if you’re reading this and haven’t yet installed solar, you only have a couple more years to get this sweet tax credit. 30% off the cost of a system is nothing to scoff at people, but the tax credit won’t be that big after the end of 2019… so what are you waiting for? Sign up to get personalized solar quotes from our expert partner installers.

We’ve included an example below of how to fill out the tax forms, and we’ve also included a section at the bottom of this post that answers some frequently asked questions about the process of claiming the credit.

We’ve prepared two posts to answer all your solar tax credit questions. Click on a button below to go to the relevant post:

KEEP IN MIND: We are solar guys, not tax guys. We do not give tax advice, and anything you read on this page is merely one example of how someone might act. Please consult a tax professional before filing.

Now then, let’s get down to it.

What you need to claim the tax credit

  • The receipts for your solar installation
  • IRS Form 1040 for 2018
  • IRS Form 5695 for 2018
  • Instructions for both those forms
  • A pencil
  • Some snacks to keep your energy up… something not too greasy, though… wouldn’t want to smudge the forms… pretzels are always a nice choice
  • Some water, maybe, if your mouth gets dry from the pretzels
  • A calculator

Fill out your Form 1040 as you normally would. Stop when you get down to line 53, and move to Form 5695. Write or type your name in the space provided.

How to fill out Form 5695

We chose “Example Exampleson,” who hails from my home state of Minnesota, dontcha know. He spent $25,000 to install a 5-kW solar panel system on his home, and entered that number in line 1 below:

IRS form 5695 lines 1-4

So what’s a qualified solar electric property cost? Here’s what the instructions for Form 5695 say:

Include any labor costs properly allocable to the onsite preparation, assembly, or original installation of the residential energy efficient property and for piping or wiring to interconnect such property to the home.

Qualified solar electric property costs are costs for property that uses solar energy to generate electricity for use in your home located in the United States. No costs relating to a solar panel or other property installed as a roof (or portion thereof) will fail to qualify solely because the property constitutes a structural component of the structure on which it is installed. The home does not have to be your main home.

All that is a fancy way of saying “Pretty much any cost related to installation and materials counts. Claim it.” Next, unless you also installed solar water heating equipment or a geothermal heat pump, move on to line 5. Follow the instructions to complete lines 5, 6, and 7:

IRS form 5695 lines 5-7

Skip to line 12 unless you installed fuel cell property (huh?), and enter in any credit you’re carrying over from a qualified energy property installation (like a previous solar installation) from the previous year. Then fill in line 13 with the total amount of credit from lines 6, 11, and 12. In Mr. Exampleson’s case, he has no prior-year credit to add, so he just puts the same $7,500 from line 6:

IRS form 5695 lines 12-13

Form 5695 Line 14 Worksheet – Reducing the credit

Line 14 is where it gets tricky. The thing about the solar tax credit is it isn’t “fully refundable,” meaning you can only take a credit for what you would have owed in taxes. This is different than other, fully refundable tax credits like the Child Tax Credit and the Health Coverage Tax Credit.

That’s why you use the worksheet below. You enter the total tax you owe before credits in line 1 of the worksheet, and the amounts of any fully refundable credits on lines 2 through 8.

Add up the total credits on line 9 and subtract to get your total tax liability. That number goes on line 10 of the worksheet and line 14 of Form 5695.

Luckily, you can carry over the unused credit to the next tax year, so if you can’t claim the whole credit on your 2018 taxes, you get to reduce your 2019 tax bill, too. A tax liability calculation worksheet is provided in the instructions for Form 5695. Here’s what it looks like for our friend, who has a total tax liability (listed on line 1 and line 11 below) of $4,600 this year:

IRS form 5695 instructions for line 14

Because Mr. Exampleson only owes $4,600 in taxes this year, that’s all the credit he can take now. He enters that number on lines 14 and 15 of Form 5695, and then enters $2,900, the difference between his total credit ($7,500) and the credit he can take this year ($4,600), into line 16.

Finally, he enters the amount from line 15 on Form 5695 into the box on line 53 of Form 1040.

That’s it! Mr Exampleson owes $0 taxes this year, and will get a further credit of $2,900 on his 2017 tax return. Now, check out the tax credit FAQ below. If you have any other questions, please enter them in the comments!

Frequent Form 5695 Questions and Considerations

  • Q: I got a rebate from my utility company for my solar panels. Do I calculate the 30% tax credit before or after the reduction from the rebate?
  • A: We get this question all the time, and here’s the best answer: You calculate the 30% federal tax credit based on the cost to you AFTER any rebates. For example, if your system cost $20,000 and you get a $5,000 rebate from the utility, your federal tax credit would be 30% of $15,000, or $4.500. Here’s the tricky part: if your state ALSO gives you a tax credit, you don’t need to worry about that amount to calculate your federal credit. Both state and federal tax credits are calculated based on the amount you paid, minus rebates or grants.


  • Q: Should I claim the tax credit if I partially paid (e.g., a deposit) in 2017 for an installation that won’t be completed until 2018?
  • A: No, the instructions for Form 5695 say “Costs are treated as being paid when the original installation of the item is completed,” so you can claim all the costs for your installation no matter when they were paid, but you have to wait to claim them in the year the installation takes place. Keep receipts!


  • Q: If I installed a solar panel system a few years ago and now I want to add new panels, can I claim the credit?
  • A: Yes! You can claim the credit for any new costs associated with the addition. You can’t go back and claim the credit for the previously-installed equipment. Hopefully you already claimed the credit for those costs back then.


  • Q: If I install solar and claim the tax credit, will I have to repay the credit to the government if I sell the house within a certain number of years?
  • A: No! If you install a solar panel system on a home you own, you can claim the whole credit and sell at any point after. Keep in mind this is only true for homeowners. The law is significantly more complex for commercial solar installations.


  • Q: Can I get a tax credit if I install solar panels on rental property I own?
  • A: If the property is a rental only, you cannot claim the tax credit. HOWEVER, if you own the property and maintain it as a residence for a certain portion of the year (i.e., you rent it out while you’re away), you can claim the credit for the portion of the year you spend there. For example, if you install $20,000 worth of solar panels on a home in Florida that you live in from November 1st to May 1st, and you rent that home during the summer, you are entitled to take 50% of the possible tax credit, or $3,000 (30% of $20,000 is $6,000, and 50% of that is $3,000).


  • Q: I just had a quote from a solar company. They informed me I needed a new roof to hold the solar array. Can I get 30% back off the roof and the solar, as it was an additional cost?
  • A: Let’s be clear again that we’re not tax experts, but it looks like the answer is yes. Early in this article, we quoted the instructions for Form 5695. Here that is again:

    No costs relating to a solar panel or other property installed as a roof (or portion thereof) will fail to qualify solely because the property constitutes a structural component of the structure on which it is installed.

    What it looks like that sentence is saying is: a roof that is built to be able to hold a solar array counts as a structural component, and therefore counts as a cost of the project. Thanks, IRS!

Head on over to our “Frequently Asked Questions” post about the ITC:

Last modified: January 1, 2020

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scott
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scott

What if the solar panels are installed in 12/2019, with me paying one-half…however, final inspection does not occur until 1/2020 with me paying the FINAL other half-payment at that time.

So, the panels are installed in 2019 but i just haven’t paid in FULL the total cost till January…may i still take the FULL credit on 2019 taxes for the FULL amount of what the entire project cost?

Rin
Guest
Rin

I had my panels put in, it is considered installed when the date of connecting to the grid

Bridgeti
Guest
Bridgeti

I purchased solar in late 2018, but the installation did not take place until early 2019. Contract signed 2018 and work began (permits, engineering etc.). The amount paid in 2018 was 25% of the total due. From what I read in the 2018 IRS guidance, I should be able to take the total credit in 2018, since > 5% was paid and commencement of work occurred (Safe Harbor?). Can anyone verify this? My tax advisor is not sure of the interpretation.

Solar Installation Government Rebate
Guest
Solar Installation Government Rebate

Indeed that it varies from company to company; some solar companies have more crews and install much higher volumes than others.

BCain
Guest
BCain

We installed solar last year, and will qualify for $10800 credit. Our taxes this year were only $4500, so we will get $3000 of it this year. It says that the rest will rollover to next year. If our taxwa next year aren’t enough to cover the remainig amount, will it roll over one more time?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Why don’t solar sales companies inform that customers only get 25% of the 30%. And i see that part of the tax form wad left out of the screen shot examples. So 30% of $20,000 is $6000 and the 25% of $6000 is $1,500

Nick
Guest
Nick

Before I entered my ITC info, I was getting back about $2800. The total that I get from the ITC the 30% is $11,400. Yet after I enter the solar info, it goes up to $8400, and I dont get the full $11,400. I dont owe taxes so how am I not get the full $11,400 back that I’m supposed to that’s 30% of the total cost of solar?

Josh
Guest
Josh

Clarification for all of you that are asking the same question regarding the solar tax credit. I installeId solar panels in my house on 2018 and I was concerned when I learnt that the credit was not “fully refundable”. Well I just finished my taxes for 2018 and one thing I would like to clarify is that the credit goes against your tax liability for the year. That doesn’t mean that if you calculate your taxes and the final amount says you owe $1,000 to the Feds (say your solar credit is $3,000), you’ll only be able to get $1,000… Read more »

Joey
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Joey

I own a home that my disabled daughter lives in (she receives SSA). I pay the electricity for the home and it’s in my name. Can I get the rebate for solar? She is a dependent on our taxes.

Wong Lee
Guest
Wong Lee

I installed solar on house in 2017. 30% of the my solar was about 8200. In my 2017 tax return, I owed $3313 in tax, so I received $3313 solar rebate. I have about $4888 left for my solar rebate. Based on my estimate for the 2018 tax return, I will owe $5103 in tax. However, I will be getting only about $2800 in solar rebate. My question is: Why won’t I be getting the full remaining of my rebate, $4888?

Carolyn
Guest
Carolyn

We are about to install solar panels on our house and were told that the Federal Credit would be $12,648 and that it would be given to us when we filed our taxes. Will we really get that amount back along with our regular refund(which we usually get).

Scott
Guest
Scott

Getting different opinions on this… We purchased and EV this year and are schedule to get the $7500 credit (can’t be carried forward). Is it true that the solar credit supersedes the EV credit? We will not have enough tax liability for both this year, but it solar supersedes the EV, we could lose that credit because it doesn’t carry forward. My solar contractor is saying we can ignore the solar credit this year and take it all next year, but that doesn’t sound right.

Jake
Guest
Jake

I am the owner, but my mom lives here half the year. My liability is very low but her’s is much bigger. The company says that as long as she is a co borrower on the loan, she will be able to use the credit. Is this correct?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

what happens if I want to rent my second house next year after I claim solar tax credit for the year of 2018

Tim
Guest
Tim

Hi: We pre-paid a 20-year solar lease for panels on our residence in 2011. This year, we bought out the system from our leaseholder and now own it ourselves. Can we claim the tax credit for purchasing this system?

Al Cardozo
Guest
Al Cardozo

I got solar panels last year for $33000 the federal solar credit is $9900, but I’m a retire and pay no tax, and when I did the tax this year,got $0 , what can I do to get it ?

George Hamlin
Guest
George Hamlin

I live in a senior HOA community. We have a clubhouse and want solar. I am told that we can’t get a solar PPA. Is the PPA not available to non- profit organizations.

Jesse Heller
Guest
Jesse Heller

If I have a solar energy tax credit carried over form 2019 (30%) to 2020(26%) will that also reduce the % of the remaining tax credit?

Howard Thompson
Guest
Howard Thompson

I own two houses. My primary residence is in OR and the second house (which is not rented, only used for my entertainment) is in WA. May I claim the solar credits if I put in solar installations at both houses.

MrB
Guest
MrB

I paid $3/watt for a 6.6kw system that was installed last year. I took the credit. It turns out that the system that was installed was only 5.06kw, so I got a refund. Do I need to pay back part of the credit I took?

Jackey
Guest
Jackey

I got solar Pannels installed last year at $20K. After filing my taxes on turbo tax it stated I was only receiving $200 and I would revive just over $5k next year. Why didn’t I received the entire amount? I had plan to put that money back in to my solar loan to keep the payments low.

Neal
Guest
Neal

I purchased solar panels in 2017. The total cost of the project was $77,278. We took out a $75,000 loan from the credit union to pay for the project. We paid the balance out of our personal funds. From the loan proceeds, $70,500 was paid in installments directly to the contractor. The balance of the loan proceeds was used to buy down the interest rate on our loan and went directly to the credit union. The contractor is an approved solar company in California. Do I need to reduce the amount of my solar credit by the amount of the… Read more »

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

I was told by the solar installers that I could roll over my credit to the solar loan. Is this possible or was I lied to?

J
Guest
J

Just to clarify because I receive a refund come tax season and get money back that wouldn’t disqualify me from claiming ITC. The ITC is based on the total money I have paid to the govt correct?

Mary
Guest
Mary

I purchased solar panels for my home & took the appropriate tax credit. 2 yrs later I need to replace the roof. The panels need to be removed, a new roof put on and then the panels replaced. Does any of that (like the new roof) qualify for a tax credit? Thank you

Rick
Guest
Rick

Can you install a solar system under one contract and get the federal credit of 30 percent and then buy a solar battery to add to the system in 2018 under a different contract and receive the federal tax credit for the cost of the solar battery and it’s install in 2018?

James Cushmano
Guest
James Cushmano

Does anyone know if there is a maximum rate per watt that is generally accepted by the IRS for residential and commercial installations. I have a complex tracker installation proposed that is coming in at over $6.00 per watt and I want to make sure I can capture the ITC.

Ken
Guest
Ken

does a solar carport qualify for the 30 percent tax rebate?It was cheaper to do that way(self installed )than buying the heavy ground racking poles?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

It’s a question regarding windows apropriate on this questenire ?

Greg
Guest
Greg

I have heard that a solar Tracking system is not covered for 30% federal tax credit ??? Can someone clarify this for me…… I’m thinking of getting a tracking system……Need PROOF —- DOCUMENTATION thanks

Hugh
Guest
Hugh

Do solar shingles instead of solar panels qualify for the 30% tax credit?

Andy
Guest
Andy

Do I have to claim my ITC the year of installed? or can I claim later like when I sale the house?

Steve C
Guest
Steve C

I need some tools – a drill and a ladder – to install my solar array – do these expenses qualify for the 30% tax credit

Ms. Mullinax
Guest
Ms. Mullinax

I have been contacted by 3 solar panel co’s. Two of them said I do not qualify because I am on a fixed income ( retired 65 ). They did not even ask if I could pay for cost of the panels out of IRAQ for example. I feel that again senior’s are being discriminated against. What is your understanding on this subject?

Alfredo
Guest
Alfredo

I am getting 7.48 kW solar panels, which I will pay each month for 10 years, now they have 23,936 dollars and the menus 7,180.80 which is 16,755.20 are they solar company going to want to pay that to them once I get the 7,180 dollars back. I don’t know if I will get all that back. Do not need to get another solar company or is this standard business? We

Chris
Guest
Chris

If I purchase a solar system in 2017 from one company and purchase batteries from another company later in the year, can i claim the tax credit for both those purchases or does it have to come from a single installation/vendor?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I did my own installation. Can I deduct some reasonable labour costs for it?Does the statement “Include any labor costs properly allocable to the onsite preparation, assembly, or original installation of the residential energy efficient property and for piping or wiring to interconnect such property to the home.”

Dale
Guest
Dale

I had solar installed on my Oregon home and still have $1,500 credit to claim. I moved out of Oregon so I do not have any Oregon income tax to file. How can I claim the balance of my credit?

Lily
Guest
Lily

Hi. I’ve been searching for this question/answer everywhere but have yet to find out. We purchased a solar system for our home (that we own and live in) and we are paying it off in installments over the course of 10 years. After that, it’s ours to keep. As far as I know, this is not a leased solar system, we own it but it’s just being paid off (like a car). Are we able to claim the tax credit now? Or do we have to wait until the system is fully paid off? Thank you!

john
Guest
john

I installed solar panels jan 2016 on a 20 year lease purchase agreement with the solar company. I did not pay anything up front to the solar company . My monthly cost to them was 10 cents per kwh for the whole year which added up to $1026.20. Do I qualify for the 30% tax credit on that amount?

T. Holm
Guest
T. Holm

We installed solar in 2016 and expected a 30% tax credit of a little more than $11,000. Now that I am doing our taxes, it appears that we lose our $3,000 Child Tax Credit due to the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit. (The Child Tax Credit is reduced by certain other credits including the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit.) And since we cannot take all of the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit this year and need to carry over to 2017, we will lose our Credit Tax Credit next year also. So the $11,000 tax credit really nets only a… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

if i put panels up in 2016, but my taxes owed for that year is only a few hundred dollars can i wait and claim the credit the following two years? My understanding is it is good for two years.

Henry
Guest
Henry

If I owe back taxes and I am on an IRS payment plan, can the tax credit be applied to the overdue tax? I won’t owe taxes because of 2 child credits the yes I install solar on my house.

Jojo
Guest
Jojo

I bought a property this year (2016) with the solar on it(19 panels in total) and the balance of the loan was transferred to my name; The previous owner had the solar installed backed in 2014; Can I take the Federal credit for the remaining balance since I am continuing the payment of it until 2024?

bill
Guest
bill

In considering placing photovoltaics on an owner occupied three family dwelling, my tax preparer (who has no experience with solar) informs me that i’d only be eligible for a third of the 30% ITC, based upon my use/occupancy percentage of the dwelling. i disagree. can you tell me which is correct, and provide any cites or references, please, since this is a tax issue. Anything you can do to help me with this question would be greatly appreciated.

Scott
Guest
Scott

What is the company that installs my panels offers be a rebate. For instances, I right them a check for $20,000 for and they give me a $3,000 rebate. So I only paid $17,000 total. Do I report $20,000 to IRS or $17,000. Thank you,Scott

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

If I rent a property and add solar power to my energy mix with my own money, can I as a renter, claim 30% tax credits?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I am a new solar consultant. I have been on the job for about two months now. I understand you are not a tax professional, however I’m looking for you to confirm something for me.

Turner
Guest
Turner

If I pay for a system to be installed on my parent’s home (I don’t own it – they do), do I still qualify for the tax credit as the purchaser of the system?

Linda
Guest
Linda

The way this is being worded is confusing a lot of people. When people are saying “what if I don’t anything at the end of the year?”, they are meaning they paid their taxes all year but at the end of the year, they don’t owe any more taxes. Or maybe they overpaid and got a refund. What you have differentiate for all of us, is do we get to claim the tax credit against all the taxes we paid throughout the year. If I paid $5000 through deductions in my paychecks all year, then ended up with a $1000… Read more »

john
Guest
john

ben,
its in maryland, ohep program or liheap. the contractor is standard energy solutions who contracts gac services to perform the hvac

john
Guest
john

my system was installed by a weatherization program at no cost to me, am i still eligible?

Keno
Guest
Keno

My question is can I sell my solar tax credits? I can’t take advantage of them. Who would I sell them to? I live in Arizonia.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I cannot find anything on the IRS website that confirms that you cannot get the tax credit for a rental property. Where is your information from? We have a beach house that is available to rent year round, but it is only essentially rented for 3 months a year. However, we adhere to the 2 week rule and only use the house for those weeks of the year. We want to put in solar, but not without the tax credit. The installer says that everyone in the beach community gets the credit regardless of rental or not.

Tim
Guest
Tim

I received a bid for $52,000 for my warehouse. I have found that I can purchase all the equipment needed for around $25,000. I am now going to have my guys do it and have an electrician hook it up. Can I charge myself the additional hours it would take to install that system and get the tax credit for it?

Jake
Guest
Jake

Ben, New York just launched a community solar program. Our company would like to sell portions of a large solar array to commercial businesses. Obviously, the businesses will want to utilize the 30% ITC and accelerated depreciation. Do you know if that is allowable under the tax code? Can multiple businesses take their portion of the 30% ITC, depending on how much of the system they own? Any resources or help would be greatly appreciated.

Janice Hardy
Guest
Janice Hardy

We were told when we bought our solar panels in April of 2015 that we would get a tax credit of $6000 to be applied as the down payment for the loan we took out. we informed them that we did not have to pay income tax or even file because we had no working income and our income was low. Now that it is time to apply for the tax credit, I don’t think we qualify for the rebate. I think we have been snuckered . This is in the contract, which only my husband signed. My husband passed… Read more »

Niamh
Guest
Niamh

I have a tax preparer telling me that I’m not eligible for the solar rebate because I don’t owe taxes, I’m getting a refund. Please correct me if I’m misunderstanding several response on this forum, that I should still get it. Le’t say solar cost 20k and 30% is 6k. If I’m getting a refund of 2k without the solar credit, my refund should now be 8k?

Nate
Guest
Nate

I’m still a little confused about whether or not I’ll see the credit for my system. I have a standard W2 type employment where they take out state and federal taxes every paycheck. When I do my taxes every year, I typically get back a refund for both state and fed (which basically means I am overpaying them a bit throughout the year). So if I am likely going to get money refunded back to me when I file my 2016 taxes, does that mean that applying for my credit for 2016 won’t net me any tangible results?

Steve
Guest
Steve

Here are two questions for you. I live in NY and last year installed a solar system. I received a grant (rebate) from NYSERDA. I know that rebates from ultilities are not counted in the cost for determining the federal tax credit, but this is money recovered from the utilities and administered through the state, so can I count this as part of the original cost of the system. Second question: If I claim the state tax credit and receive a refund this year, will I have to pay federal taxes on the refund next year. I itemize deductions and… Read more »

doug.dialog@gmail.com
Guest

A solar salesman told me that although the federal tax credit for residential solar does not expire until the end of 2016, only a certain number of homes are allowed on this program, and that number will be reached “within a couple of months.” Is this true, or was it a sales lie?

Rosaly
Guest
Rosaly

Thank you Ben Zientara for your answer. Base on the agreement the purchase option minimum cash purchase price at this year( $28,687) and for this next year (2017) cost is $25,370. As of now they are charging us $ 0.283 per kwh and 10% increase every year. Please let me know if purchase option if better deal or not. Thank you in advance.

Rosaly
Guest
Rosaly

We bought a house back 2014 and it has a solar on it. The previous owner had a lease solar agreement started back 2012 and the lease agreement is transferred to me and I am planning to buy the solar instead of leasing it. Am I still able to file the tax credit?

Cheryl Brown
Guest
Cheryl Brown

I see many questions asked however they have no reply.. My question is if I sell my solar unit to someone else and it is professionally installed, does the new buyer qualify for the tax credit?

Matt Jenkins
Guest
Matt Jenkins

oops! Rose, you wouldn’t have to apply for the ITC, because the full benefit of the tax credit, whether you pay taxes at all, will be given to you on day one. In other words, the price you pay for your prepaid PPA is about the same price someone would realize AFTER they had paid the FULL price, then chased down the tax credits, as long as the company providing the prepaid is offering a competitive rate. In other words, the purchase and the PPA got married and had a baby, the Prepaid PPA.

Rose
Guest
Rose

We are in the process of re-roofing just for the solar installation. For the solar, we choose the pre-paid (aka lease) option but not the owning option? Do we still qualify for the tax credit in your example?

Mau Le
Guest
Mau Le

W2 Federal Tax Wilthhoding $7,500.00. In case no solar, I and the government make even. Otherwise my solar costs $25,000.00, will the government refunds me $7,500?

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

How do you get the federal tax credit if you only paid $1 for the system?

Deanna
Guest
Deanna

Our Solar Tax Credit for 2015 is $8k and our carryover to 2016 is $700. I want to know if I can carryover some of the $8k to 2016? For example, can I claim $5k for 2015 and carryover $3700 to 2016?????

Tami
Guest
Tami

I bought a house with solar panels on it. I had to take a separate loan to pay for the solar panels . Can I take the tax credit for the $18,000 loan I took on the solar panels of my new home if the original owner already took the credit when they bought the panels new, even though they didn’t pay them off

Kathy from Las Vegas NV
Guest
Kathy from Las Vegas NV

Your webpage is really great. I am an experienced tax preparer, not licensed, I prepare returns for my family & friends, I’ve have for over 7 years. I benefited from the examples & questions & answers, Thank you so much. I appreciate these types of informative sites.

Nade
Guest
Nade

I have added a battery backup system to my solar panels with new inverters that will take the system off grid in case of power failour and have it function as a fully off grid solar system. However the system requires or is configured normally to have a gas generator as part of the system to help maintain the solar batteries and prevent overdepletion of batteries in use, etc.. Can I claim the cost of the generator and its installation for tax credit. Thank you.

Randy
Guest
Randy

The 2015 form 5695 has 2 pages. I am only going to utilize page 1. Do i have to attach p2 if not used when filing?

Alan
Guest
Alan

On Jan 9, 2016, Ben stated “The Federal credit can be taken for only two years. If you aren’t able to claim the full credit in two years, the rest goes away.” This is not true. A look at the form and instructions makes no mention of carryforward limits. If you examine lines 12 – 15, you will see that that Form 5695 provides for perpetual carryforward. But don’t take my word for it; have a look here: https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1910295-how-long-can-federal-tax-credits-for-residential-solar-power-be-carried-forward

Tony
Guest
Tony

Can I take a solar tax credit on my commercial rental building?

Rick
Guest
Rick

Our install was completed and inspected by the City building inspector on December 28, 2015, but it took about 10 days for our Utility company to approve it and give us the go ahead to turn on the system. Can we claim the tax credit for 2015 or do we have to wait until we file our 2016 taxes to claim it?

Patricia
Guest
Patricia

If I only receive a portion of my tax credit this year and the rest rolls over, does the remainder each year continue to rollover until you have receive the total due to you? I have read that it’s is only 2 years then I read 5 years.

Victoria
Guest
Victoria

What if the government doesn’t pay the money? Do the solar panel companies have the right to come after us for it?

Tom
Guest
Tom

How do you save on the Solar Panels if you don’t get the State and Federal Tax credits.

Dave
Guest
Dave

We own a vacation home on Cape Cod that we rent by the week throughout the year. We spend two week there as vacation. Do we qualify for any portion of Credit? Getting conflicting opinions from Solar ‘experts’?

David
Guest
David

Getting various opinions on the following, We owWe own a ‘vacation’ home on Cape Cod that is rented most of the year (by the week).

TB
Guest
TB

Two different types of questions. First is a person eligible for a solar tax rebate if the solar panels (power) they acquire is within a larger community solar array? 2nd Question. If I “donate” the solar energy credit to a charitable organization, such as a church or other 501 c (3), are you still eligible for a solar energy rebate from your taxes?

Wanted to know
Guest
Wanted to know

Um I know this is late and unlikely to get a reply but here goes.. Is there any condition the panel’s have to be in.. will they accept grade C or even grade D panels? How about used panels? I didn’t see where they specified this I assume it’s fine so long as it puts out power and I’ve got a receipt from a busisness.

Anna
Guest
Anna

I am purchasing sun panels. The seller says that the company gets State credit. Is that true?

Suzie
Guest
Suzie

I live in a stand alone condo. All of the roofs and skylights are being replaced. Owners will be assessed a percentage of whole project. Can I receive a credit and can I declare whole amount for my unit or only my percentage of whole amount?

Carol
Guest
Carol

I own my home, live downstairs and rent out the upstairs. The renter pays his own electric bill. The solar panels would be for my downstairs half of the house. Can I claim the federal credit?

Steve
Guest
Steve

The IRS language about “structural components” I believe refers to systems where the roofing and solar modules are integrated, and the roofing materials in question cannot be used independently without solar. I strongly urge anyone to contact a tax professional before relying on the language in this post indicating that you can claim any part of the cost of a (regular) roofing project as related to the solar system.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Can I claim the credit on a home I don’t own? My parents own a home, but do not have enough income to have a tax due. If I pay for the solar installation on their home, can I claim the credit on my taxes?

Abe
Guest
Abe

Hi i have a question. Those 30% tax credit, if i do not work or apply taxes for this year, can i still get it back as refund money

Clyde
Guest
Clyde

If I install my PV system in 2016 but am unable to use all of the credit for that tax year, will I be able to roll my unused credit forward – given the 12/31/2016 ITC deadline?

Don Ross
Guest
Don Ross

I am right in the middle of installing solar energy to my home…..(my property.) But first I needed a new roof to hold the structure. Also to upgrade my home,….all my water pipes are leaking and

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

can i apply my 30% credit to a tax balance from previous years that i am paying on an installment plan?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I got the federal credit last year, if I sell my house and buy solar for the new home will I qualify for the credit again?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

My mother lives with me and is considering purchasing solar panels for my home. Can she claim the federal tax credit for the installation even tho I own the home?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I pay over 7,000. In taxes each year. My system will give me a 7,000 tax credit.When I get my solar panels will I get

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I hit enter and it posted. What I meant by the comment below is that if you owe texes normally and over pay you recieve your excess back. In this situation, it would lower the tax liability and any amount paid in excess would still be refunded. For instance, if I owe in taxes $5000 and paid in $10000. I would get a $5000 return because I overpaid. With the credit it would wipe out the $5000 and I would have no liability meaning I would receive $10000 in my return. It does not matter what you pay in.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

The credit is off of your total taxes owed. It has nothing to do with what you paid in so changing the amoutn of dependents and having less withholding will not change how much you recieve for the credit.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

The Fed tax credit is pure Bull hockey! The state credit is actually worth something! If the feds actually wanted to reward people for spending their hard earned cash on renewable energy, there would be a flat credit and the questions would be limited to “did you install it? Is it producing? Here’s your credit. The way it is set up is discriminatory against older people and prevents us from getting ANY fed credit, so all the feds’ blatting about renewable energy and 30% credit is an absolute crock.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

We paid $20,040 for our PV system. 30% of that amount is $6,012. HR Block did our taxes this year (2014), and while going through the forms I noticed that line 53 of Form 5695 stated the Residential Energy Credit was only $4,913. We didn’t have any tax liability from the 1040, so why wouldn’t line 53 equal the $6,012?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Can I get 30% back on a second house I own which is not rental, however it is not the primary residence

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I bought a solar package last year that included other energy-efficient upgrades (e.g., insulation, duct sealing, etc.). Do these upgrades count for the 30% tax credit?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

No one answered the very valid question about increasing number of dependents thus decreasing income withholding. It would be the only way I could see for a normal income person who usually receives a return to gain any benefit from the credit.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

There is a credit limit applicable on line 14 of form 5695 that requires you use a worksheet that looks for only specific tax credits for child care several special needs categories of people. If these tax credits are not part of your 1040 submittal you have a credit limit of “0” Middle income people without these generally hardship credits in other areas find their solar panel limit to be “0” Happend to me last year per professional tax preparer and will happen again in 2014.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I installed my system in 2014. But approval from the state electrical inspector and local utility company was not done till 2015. Can I count that as complete in 2014 for taxes?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

If I get back money from the IRS every year, should I change my W2 forms to show more dependents, so that I might be able to have to pay, thus ableing me to use the tax credit??

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Lets say I owe nothing in taxes for 2014. Do i still fill out the forms and claim nothing for the tax credit?

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