How Solar Panels Impact Home Value Installing solar
If you’re thinking about installing home solar panels, you don’t want to miss out on the solar tax credit. This incentive will significantly reduce your upfront solar installation costs, speeding up your payback period and helping you break even on your investment faster.
Solar Power Pros is Colorado’s leading local solar installation company. We’ve created this guide to help you learn everything you need to know about the solar tax credit, including how to qualify for and claim it so you can save as much as possible on your solar panel installation.
The solar tax credit is a federal incentive for residential and commercial solar panel installations. The tax credit reduces what you owe when you file your federal income taxes by a percentage of your solar installation costs for the year you install your system. The percentage has fluctuated throughout the tax credit’s life but is currently worth 30% of your total solar installation costs—the highest it’s ever been.
The solar tax credit was first introduced in 2005 and has gone through many iterations since. It was most recently overhauled by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which increased the value of the solar tax credit and extended it for 10 years.
The solar tax credit is not a deduction or a tax refund—it’s a credit that can be applied to your federal income taxes, reducing what you owe.
Let’s say you install a rooftop solar system that costs $20,000. You would receive a tax credit worth 30% of $20,000, which is $6,000. Now let’s say you owe $5,000 when you file your tax return. You can apply your $6,000 credit to your balance, fully covering what you owe. The remaining balance ($1,000 in this case) can be rolled over to the following year.
Claiming the solar tax credit is a simple and straightforward process. You don’t have to apply for the tax credit or fill out a ton of additional forms. There’s just one extra form to complete when filing your annual tax return.
Here are the step-by-step instructions:
Disclaimer: We’re solar experts, not tax experts! We always recommend consulting a tax professional before filing to make sure you have claimed your credit accurately.
It’s easy to qualify for the federal solar tax credit. The eligibility requirements are very straightforward and most rooftop solar installations qualify.
To get the solar tax credit, you must meet the following criteria, laid out by The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: