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Maybe... here is the issue. In order to qualify the batteries must be charged 100% with the solar system. A battery system without solar clearly would not, and one with other charging systems also would not.

In my case I originally did not have solar only battery to battery charging, however when the battery to battery system failed, I added solar and it became solely charged by solar. (theoretically I could plug in my inverter charger, but never did during the year I claimed the credit). This is somewhat a grey area in my opinion (which is not tax or legal advice and cannot be relied upon to avoid IRS penalties... Sec 230 disclaimer... blah blah) My position is the battery to battery charger was temporary until the solar was up and running. :)

If you system is being built from scratch and 100% solar charged, then the batteries can be included in the system cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Maybe... here is the issue. In order to qualify the batteries must be charged 100% with the solar system. A battery system without solar clearly would not, and one with other charging systems also would not.

In my case I originally did not have solar only battery to battery charging, however when the battery to battery system failed, I added solar and it became solely charged by solar. (theoretically I could plug in my inverter charger, but never did during the year I claimed the credit). This is somewhat a grey area in my opinion (which is not tax or legal advice and cannot be relied upon to avoid IRS penalties... Sec 230 disclaimer... blah blah) My position is the battery to battery charger was temporary until the solar was up and running. :)

If you system is being built from scratch and 100% solar charged, then the batteries can be included in the system cost.
What are the chances the IRS sends out an electrician to examine your electric box?
What if you occasionally use a backup charge method, just in case?
What if your occasional backup charger is in storage on the day of the audit?
Not tax advice. Merely questions...
 

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What are the chances the IRS sends out an electrician to examine your electric box?
What if you occasionally use a backup charge method, just in case?
What if your occasional backup charger is in storage on the day of the audit?
Not tax advice. Merely questions...
My guess
0% , they don't know anything about electricity
You'll never get caught
That is what I would do if I was trying to get one past them... of course I must say that I would never do such a thing :)

The chances of getting caught on this are probably less than waitstaff getting caught under-reporting tips.

I feel obliged to give the legal answer. (something in my professional standards requires it)
 

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something about wanting to increase funding to IRS by big %.....also $600 + charge on esty and something else reported to irs....some say forums such as FB being monitored looking for Jan 6.....they demand send tax returns to California to be audited

Sent from my LG-H871 using Tapatalk
 

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The gummint website I checked said that all parts of a functioning solar installation were eligible for the credit including panels, charge controllers, inverters, batteries, cables, fuses, breakers, parts and also the labor to install it all.
 

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The gummint website I checked said that all parts of a functioning solar installation were eligible for the credit including panels, charge controllers, inverters, batteries, cables, fuses, breakers, parts and also the labor to install it all.
Correct, but the batteries have to be 'solar charged'

The purpose of this rule is to prevent people from putting in a grid charged storage system and getting a subsidy. In some states the difference in night and day rates is so large people can charge batteries at night and use the electricy during the day and save a lot of money, which is fine, but not what the solar credit was designed for.

Before the last winter storm in Texas you could get negative wholesale power at night, but now those types of plans are banned for consumers because they results in people having to pay exactly what they agreed to pay. Because some people got high bills we now have rules that prevent smart consumers from getting good deals. A battery system could charge for free at night and possible even sell power to the grid during the day (this is what Elon musk plans to do, but normal consumers can't because of new consumer protection regulation).

The solar tax credit is not for these types of systems, only for solar systems. So they added a regulation that the batteries must be charged by solar.
 

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Which part is ridiculous? (in general most government rules are ridiculous... but specifically?)
I agree. I guess in my mind I’ve made some distinction between #vanlife and someone who lives in a 40’ fifth wheel or a house boat, but then I realize that it would be difficult for the government to draw some arbitrary qualifying threshold, especially since it would serve as a penalty on the little guy. I guess it makes sense, but it just caught me by surprise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree. I guess in my mind I’ve made some distinction between #vanlife and someone who lives in a 40’ fifth wheel or a house boat, but then I realize that it would be difficult for the government to draw some arbitrary qualifying threshold, especially since it would serve as a penalty on the little guy. I guess it makes sense, but it just caught me by surprise.
I feel like the distinction between living in a 20' van vs a 40' RV is a lot smaller than the distinction between a house and an RV.
 

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Discussion on Sprinter Forum


Excerpt from an IRS Private Letter Ruling:

"Your representation that all energy that is used to charge the Battery can be effectively assured to come from the Solar Energy System is essential for this ruling. Section 25D(d)(1) of the Code includes as a requirement in its definition of “qualified solar water heating property expenditure” that at least half of the energy used by such property for such purpose is derived from the sun. The definition of “qualified solar electric property expenditure” under § 25D(d)(2) omits this language. Thus, the Congress purposefully chose to include a 50 percent usage requirement in the definition of “qualified solar water heating property”, but the Congress did not include such language in the definition of “qualified solar electric property.” This demonstrates that the Congress expects the energy used by a “qualified solar electric property expenditure” to be derived solely from the sun. Accordingly, 100 percent of the energy used by the Battery must be derived from the sun. If this is not the case, the Battery does not meet the definition of “qualified solar electric property” in the Code." (Emphasis Added)
 

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I feel like the distinction between living in a 20' van vs a 40' RV is a lot smaller than the distinction between a house and an RV.
Yes, but the thing that many people take into account is that the IRS is unlikely to come looking for much money from people living in vans or rvs... In general it is higher income people that need to worry (this can certainly include some RV and Van people). Solar credits just are not a source of a lot of tax cheating. The EITC and Child tax credits are actually very high fraud areas that low income people use (and sometimes abuse).

Legally, the liklihood of getting caught should not be a factor. Legally. That's all I can really say.

Discussion on Sprinter Forum


Excerpt from an IRS Private Letter Ruling:

" <shortened> Accordingly, 100 percent of the energy used by the Battery must be derived from the sun. If this is not the case, the Battery does not meet the definition of “qualified solar electric property” in the Code." (Emphasis Added)
Taxpayers can't rely on private letter rulings. But I believe this one is wholly consistent with the definitions in the code and regulations.

My interpretation (not tax advice, musings for entertainment purposes only) : If the system is installed without an ability to be charged from other sources (no battery to battery charger, or such is disabled) then the system can meet the rules. If it is eligible at the time of installation, you can claim the credit. If at some later time some other charging source is added then that is a different matter. There is no takeback of the credit.
I spend money on a solar system, take the credit, and next year sell the system, I do not have to repay the credit (although it reduces my basis in the system, increasing the amounts of any gains... if any).

This is quite similar to what some people have done with EVs the last year or so, buy one, take the credit, order new one, sell into red hot used car market, claim another 7500 credit. The difference is used solar gear is not worth a lot.

So if you install a solar system with batteries 100% charged by solar the credit on your second home (van, rV, etc) can include the cost of batteries. Adding other charging later does not mean that it was not qualified solar electric property at the time of installation and credit. In an audit, there might be all kinds of arguing about intent, which would likely be a question of fact for the tax court.

Hypothetically and for entertainment purposes only.
 
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