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Old 26-02-2019, 11:44   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Boat: Caliber 40 LRC
Posts: 494
Federal Solar Tax Credit in the U.S.

Heading for Mexico in the fall and Iím in the final stages of my solar installation planning. Iím trying to figure out if itís cheaper to have work done in the U.S. before I leave to take advantage of the 30% Federal Solar Credit or have it done in Ensenada.

Looking for information about whatís included as qualifying. I know that panels, wiring, controllers, inverters are all qualified. Batteries seem to be a grey area, Iíll talk to my tax guy about that. Specifically for me, itís the structure to mount them that Iím asking about.

I plan on installing flexible panels on a new bimini, new davits and on top of my existing hard top dodger. Can I include the cost of the new bimini/canvas & davits? I know at a minimum, I can buy everything else and take the credit for that. Getting basically 30% off of the cost of the other would be quite a chunk of $$$. If so, Iím not sure prices in Mexico can beat it.

Any other relevant info on the credit or bimini/canvas & stainless work done in Ensenada appreciated. Iím going down the end of March to tour Baja Naval and talk to them about the work.
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Old 26-02-2019, 16:52   #2

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 15,129
Re: Federal Solar Tax Credit in the U.S.

If the sole purpose of the bimini and davits was to support the solar panels, yes. But since the IRS forms don't seem to allow for allocating "commingled" equipment...imagine the look on the examiner's face when he asks you if the bimini was, perhaps, not simply and solely used for the solar installation?

Your accountant can tell you the odds of a solar installation credit triggering an audit, versus your own employment and other factors. And then it is up to you: Either, don't try to slip things in, or slip in whatever you can get bills for. If the installation guys give you a bill for "panel support structure" rather than a bill from "Bimini's-R-Us" might get away with it.

But you might also want to check IRS.GOV to see what guidance they offer, I can't see that they'd leave the barn doors that widely open.

The one nice thing about dotting the i's and crossing the t's is that when and if you are audited, you don't have to worry about it. You can respond to their letters in two point type on bright red paper, and they still have to accept it. (Yes, that has been done. Make real sure they've got no grounds to argue, before you do that.(G)
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