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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 05-31-2012
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Question IRS credit for solar panel

I'm getting ready to buy some solar panels for the boat and noticed that there is a 30% energy credit. Form 5695 seems to clearly state that boats and second residences are allowed. It also states that a "manufacturer's certification" is good evidence that the panel meets the requirements but doesn't say that it is required.

Has anyone heard of taking the credit for solar panels on your boat? Not trying to do anything unfair or borderline here; the credit seems to apply though and since the alternative would be to burn more fossil fuels by running the engine it seems clearly within the intent of the credit.

Last edited by DavidCReno; 05-31-2012 at 07:51 PM. Reason: more descriptive title
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: Residential Energy Credits

Where does it say on the form that boats are clearly allowed? I just took a quick look and the instructions define a home. Boats were not included.

Accountants and tax preparers give much better tax advice than sailing forums.

edit: I missed where it said "houseboat". It does say, however, you must live on it "most of the time" to be your main home, but solar electric credits do not have to be on your main home. Interesting.
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Old 06-01-2012
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As our boat is our primary residence we've taken advantage of the solar tax credit. I'm not sure where you get 30% from though? The credits are equipment specific and do not include many of the generic marine applications. You need to check out your home state requirements as well. Read the the SMALL print. To qualify, solar systems must be installed by a qualified installer. As I'm a qualified installer I did it myself but the credits are less. For most marine applications 300-1000 watts; equipment being $2500+ and labour 2500+, you'll see a rebate of $1000-$1500 a far cry short of 30%. These rebates are not determined by tax accountants but by predetermined schedules set by state and federal statute, so it's important to follow the rules or the whole system could be disqualified. I've become partial to Outback and Sanyo equipment because they've never been a problem getting rebated. For the most part much of the info you might find here is incomplete to say the least. Do your homework.
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: Residential Energy Credits

We used the solar credit (or rather, our accountant used it for us) with no problems 3 years ago. Our boat is our only home.
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Re: Residential Energy Credits

Want to bet that if the average voter got word of the rich boaters getting tax credits for installing solar panels, there would be a politician ranting against it?

You may want to keep this quiet.
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The "average voter" can get solar tax credits as well. Frankly there's no secret here as the government advertises it all the time. If anything, it's boaters who're behind the curve when it comes to tax credits. Before we moved aboard we took advantage of the same credits for our house. It has nothing to do with personal wealth but investing in a fundamental solution to global climatic changes we've contributed.
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Re: Residential Energy Credits

Quote:
Originally Posted by sea_hunter View Post
The "average voter" can get solar tax credits as well.
Not precisely. You have to have enough taxable income to owe taxes to use the credit.

Quote:
Frankly there's no secret here as the government advertises it all the time. If anything, it's boaters who're behind the curve when it comes to tax credits. Before we moved aboard we took advantage of the same credits for our house. It has nothing to do with personal wealth but investing in a fundamental solution to global climatic changes we've contributed.
sea-hunter, you fundamentally misunderstand my point. The average voter is happy to take the credit, but will look to you, as a wealthy boat owner, and not want to underwrite your costs. You are already too rich and your boat is a toy. Even if you live on it. Most taxpaying voters don't have the option to liveaboard, or live near the water, or just simply have enough left to buy a boat.

If you think the logic of saving the environment will overcome the jealousy that you have a boat, you've been missing the news for a while.
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I never missed yor point, I was ignoring it for what it is. The tax credit is deferable up to 3 years, but that too will come to an end soon. This is a middle class rebate with some utilities returning cash incentives. The energy tax credit is specifically designed for families with less cash flow. If you're angry at not receiving your kickback, thats not antybody's problem but your own. Next you'll be moaning about boaters that received the $10K first time home buyers incentive. It is,what it is.
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Re: Residential Energy Credits

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I never missed yor point, I was ignoring it for what it is....
Really. What is it?

You're making no sense.
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Old 06-02-2012
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Re: Residential Energy Credits

Quote:
Originally Posted by sea_hunter View Post
I'm not sure where you get 30% from though?
See IRS form 5695, line 20:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf
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