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IRS Solar Tax Credit guide

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I have noticed a little confusion here and there, I wanted to post this for reference. One thing to note is this:

The solar PV system is new or being used for the first time. The credit can only be claimed on the “original installation” of the solar equipment.

So you can't claim it when you swap out failed AGMs, or add a new panel onto the roof, or change the controller. NEW Ollie customers only. Darn it....

IRS Solar Tax Credit FAQ

John Davies

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Thanks for posting this.  

I am not a tax expert or a lawyer but it seems logical that if any additional solar panels and/or storage capacity are added that this would represent a new installation. You may want to discuss this with your tax expert.  

Example; If you left your tired AGMs in your trailer and added as a separate system the new LI batteries, a new controller and a single PV that this would be considered a new installation.

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That’s an interesting note. There seems to be a lot more subtlety to the interpretations now than there was when I got mine.  I wonder how much of that has been driven by actual IRS auditing decisions vs creeping conservatism from accountants. 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Thank You John,
    "• The solar PV system is located at your primary or secondary residence in the United States,".
So our RV's are considered a qualifying "Secondary Residences"???

Having recently retired, I was trying to simplify my life by shifting concern from "Qualified Deductions & Tax Credits" to dealing with all the Passive/Unearned Income. (insert smart-ass smiley face here).

Here I thought Wifey bought it to just "Get-US-Away" from home and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
I am new to all this, so I guess I will be checking with my Accountant on leveraging Tax Advantages of owning an RV. 

Not Complaining, but Sheesh...

As Usual, Regards


Maggie & Bryan | Arnegard, ND | 2020 LE II (Twin Setup) Hull #665 | 2010 GMC 1500 ExtCab Sierra SLE 


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3 hours ago, John E Davies said:

The solar PV system is new or being used for the first time. The credit can only be claimed on the “original installation” of the solar equipment.

I could read this a few ways. One way would  be that any piece of solar equipment can only have a credit taken once - i.e if you sell  it used  the next owner can't claim a credit. Adding new panels or replacing old panels with new might be allowable depending on how this  is  actually interpreted by the IRS.

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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I'm claiming the credit for the new Solar package on the Oliver as well as a solar suitcase and an additional solar panel on the roof.  I've added panels over the years to my house and always claimed those additions without any problem.  I'm not sure about upgrading/replacing components though.

John and Anita

2020 Oliver Elite II, Hull 688

Tow Vehicle:  2006 Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab.  6.6L Duramax


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Interesting timing on this discussion.  As things stand now, the fed solar tax credits are phasing out.  If my memory is accurate, 2019 and before allowed for a 30% credit.  2020 goes down to 26% and 2021 is 19%.  Could be a good time to do a cyber Monday upgrade!!!

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