Residential Solar and the New 30% Federal Tax Credit

As it is approaching tax time we thought it might make sense to give people some help finding information on the new tax regulations regarding solar PV installation on your home which arose from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.  Probably the best place to start for basic information and tax forms is the Energy Star web site

To apply for the credit, “the Photovoltaic systems must provide electricity for the residence, and must meet applicable fire and electrical code requirement.”  The 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit applies to existing and new homes that install solar – the credit is assessed against the installation cost and is available through 2016. 

Improvements made in 2009 will be claimed on your 2009 taxes (filed by April 15, 2010) — use IRS Tax Form 5695 (2009 version) — it will be available late 2009 or early 2010.

Given that many states and some cities and municipalities offer solar incentives and rebates - you should check with your accountant to determine how the various payments work together.