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How Many Times Can You Claim Solar Tax Credit

How many times can you claim a tax credit for solar energy on your federal income taxes? Learn more about solar tax credits at SmartSolar.org
Solar Panels
6 minutes
Written by:
Joey Cheek
Updated on:
January 13, 2023

How many times can you claim the federal solar tax credit? It is a common question many people have if they are investing in a solar panel system. What if you need to upgrade it over time? You can claim the solar tax credit on your federal income taxes just once, though there are a few ways to stretch out that tax credit over more than one year to reduce your tax liability. At SmartSolar, our team can help you determine where to get started. Find out if you can claim the solar tax credit by reaching out to our team today to get started.

Turn Your Roof into a Paycheck with Solar Panels!

The Bottom Line:

  • Know the Rules About the Federal Solar Tax Credit - The federal solar tax credit reduces how much of your income is taxable in the year you have your solar system installed.
  • What Are the Rules for Qualifying for the Federal Solar Tax Credit? -There are many; for instance, you must own the solar system and it must be new.
  • Make the Most Out of Solar Installation - Having some help you choose the right solar panels and get the most from your investment tax credit is worthwhile. 

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Know the Rules About the Federal Solar Tax Credit

Not only is solar energy good for the environment, but right now, it is also the most affordable source of electricity in America, thanks to the federal solar tax credit. To get the federal solar tax credit, people must have a solar energy system that meets the requirements installed in their homes. The solar investment tax credit is a type of discount on your federal income tax. It is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax liability. That means it reduces how much of your income is taxable in the year you have the solar system installed.

What Are the Rules for Qualifying for the Federal Solar Tax Credit?

It is always wise to seek tax advice from a tax professional. However, there are a few things noted by the federal government, specifically the U.S. Department of Energy, about who qualifies for the tax credit.

  • The solar PV system you file a claim for must have been installed between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2023, though there are additional tax incentives available beyond this.
  • The solar PV panel system is at your primary residence or a secondary residence in the U.S. It may also be an off-site community solar project, but only in situations where the electricity generated is credited against your home’s electricity consumption.
  • You will own the solar panel system. You may not obtain the tax credit if you are leasing a solar panel system and did not outright own it.
  • The solar PV system has to be new, or it has to be the first time that the system is being installed and used. It can only be credited on the original installation of the solar panel.
  • You cannot enter into an agreement to purchase electricity generated by a system that you do not own.

The federal tax credit is one of the best ways to reduce your costs for installing a solar power system. Keep in mind that this tax credit is limited based on the year that you installed it. That is, the amount of the federal tax credit depends on what year you have it installed.

  • Installing a solar panel system from 2023 to 2032 will allow you to claim a 30% tax refund on your federal income taxes.
  • Installation of a solar panel system in 2033 will yield a 26% tax credit.
  • Installation of a solar panel system in 2034 will yield a 22% tax credit.

You may also find that federal tax credits may change over time. Congress may change the federal tax credits to match other needs. Right now, there is no upper limit on the dollar amount that you can use against your income taxes. However, you can only claim this federal investment tax credit once.

Make the Most Out of Solar Installation

Solar panel systems can change the way your home operates. It's important to make sure you get the right solar power system installed and that you apply it to your federal taxes properly. Also, you may have a state tax credit that you may qualify for, depending on where you live. Having some help choosing the right solar panels and getting the most from your investment tax credit is worthwhile. Let our team at SmartSolar help you.

Common Questions About Solar Tax Credits

There are many questions about solar tax credits. Though our team is ready to answer any questions you have, here are some quick answers to the most common questions about saving money on your electricity bills.

How many solar tax credits can I claim?

Property owners can claim the solar tax credit just once. You can only claim it one for your solar panel installation. There is no limit to the amount of your tax rebate, with as much as 30% of the total cost being redeemable.

Can you claim solar panels on your taxes every year?

The solar panel system you install on your primary residence can only be claimed once. For example, if you are able to claim 30% of the investment in a solar panel system, you can only claim that 30%. However, you may be able to claim less than 30% this year and then a portion of it next year to reduce your federal income taxes. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the tax credit can be used against either the federal income tax or the alternative minimum tax.

Can you claim the solar tax credit on a second home?

You can get a tax credit for residential solar power for both your main home and your second home. It is important to consult a tax professional to make sure your purchase qualifies.

How does the solar tax credit work in 2022?

Under the federal solar tax incentive, if you put in a solar panel system in 2022, you can get back 26% of what you paid to have the system put in. That includes the cost of the solar equipment as well as the cost of labor for that installation.

Let Our Team Help You Get Solar Panels

You could qualify for the solar panel tax credit for your home. However, you should talk to a tax professional about your taxable income. We can't give you professional tax advice, but there are ways you might be able to cut your income taxes by a lot. Let SmartSolar help you today. Contact us today to learn more about the federal solar tax savings you could qualify for.

Joey Cheek

Meet the author:

Joey Cheek

Joey Cheek spent 10 years on the US National Speedskating Team where he competed in two Olympic Games, winning gold, silver, and bronze medals. He attended Princeton before diving into the startup and tech world. In 2011 he launched a livestreaming platform for sports before leading a team of engineers building next-gen news and content apps for Fortune 100 companies. He is the CEO and co-founder of SmartSolar.org, whose mission is to move the earth to cheap, abundant, carbon-free energy.

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