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The difference between tax credits and tax deductions

As you may know, residents (and businesses) can take a 30-percent federal tax credit when purchasing solar PV systems. You also may know, however, that reading about tax rules is about as much fun as watching silicon degrade, molecule by molecule. Luckily, the freshly amended investment tax credit (ITC) is fairly straight forward. It provides a tax credit worth up to 30 percent of total system costs, with no dollar amount cap. But what, exactly, is a tax credit? And how is it different from a tax deduction?

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Congress weighing changes to investment tax credit

In October 2008, President Bush signed into law the The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008. The act extended, through 2016, the corporate and individual Investment Tax Credit (ITC). It also removed the cap that had previously prevented homeowners from taking more than a $2,000 credit when purchasing a solar PV system.

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