USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?

rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
My sister's HOA in WinterGarden FL is requiring that she put up a fence around her proposed ground mount 10KW system. I'm guessing this fence will cost around $4600. Can this be counted as a project expense and qualify for the 30% tax credit in the USA?

the IRS form is kind of vague and states:
Qualified solar electric property costs. Qualified solar electric
property costs are costs for property that uses solar energy to generate
electricity for use in your home located in the United States. This
includes costs relating to a solar panel or other property installed as a
roof or a portion of a roof. The home does not have to be your main
home.

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?

    good question. in my view yes, but how the government may think of it, who knows?
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?

    I believe that the fence is required by NEC so that the wiring is inaccessible. In that case I would think it is part of the system. On the other hand, when something in the tax code makes sense to me, its usually because I misunderstand it. :p --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?
    My sister's HOA in WinterGarden FL is requiring that she put up a fence around her proposed ground mount 10KW system. I'm guessing this fence will cost about as much as the solar panels, around $10,000. Can this be counted as a project expense and qualify for the 30% tax credit in the USA?
    Anything can qualify as a deduction until one gets audited. Do you feel lucky? :D
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?

    nope, that is why I'm trying to do my homework.
    http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/recovery/Documents/N%20Evaluating_Cost_Basis_for_Solar_PV_Properties%20final.pdf
    States:
    If claimed basis is deemed consistent with benchmark prices, the review team typically focuses the remainder of its cost review on examining line items provided in the detailed cost breakdown to ensure that only eligible items have been included and that no costs have been inappropriately attributed to the property. If there are no ineligible items, the basis reflects only items appropriately attributable to the eligible property, and there is adequate documentation to support that the costs reflect actual costs, the cost basis is accepted.
    The review team may ask the applicant to provide additional detail if a cost breakdown line item is defined too generally. If ineligible items are identified, they are removed, and the payment is based on the corrected amount. For example, although a project may necessitate a fence for security or a building for operations and maintenance, such costs are not eligible.

    However this is an old document when the government was GIVING REBATE CHECKS, not simply tax credits. The document also states that $7 a watt is typically cost basis and costs above this will be scrutinized. Not sure if same thought would apply to current tax law. Might have to ask CPA, any recommendations for one that is familiar with solar tax code?

    Peace, Rolland
  • mtdocmtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
    Re: USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?

    Darn - I guess I can't claim the expense of the shed I'm building on which to mount my second array.

    BTW - does anyone know the rules for claiming deductions for expenses that come when your are expanding a system whose original cost you already claimed?
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?
    nope, that is why I'm trying to do my homework.
    http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/recovery/Documents/N%20Evaluating_Cost_Basis_for_Solar_PV_Properties%20final.pdf
    States:

    "If ineligible items are identified, they are removed, and the payment is based on the corrected amount. For example, although a project may necessitate a fence for security or a building for operations and maintenance, such costs are not eligible."

    However this is an old document when the government was GIVING REBATE CHECKS, not simply tax credits. The document also states that $7 a watt is typically cost basis and costs above this will be scrutinized. Not sure if same thought would apply to current tax law. Might have to ask CPA, any recommendations for one that is familiar with solar tax code?

    Peace, Rolland

    I would check with a tax specialist on this, since there may be a difference between a fence required for security (to keep the panels from being stolen, for example) which is not required by the AHJ and a fence which is required to get approval to install the system. The AHJ permit linkage may be enough to allow it to be included.

    An analogy for comparison would be that a DC disconnect may not be necessary for the system to work, but it is part of the NEC requirements and therefore is necessary to the system rather than just an optional extra.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?
    mtdoc wrote: »
    Darn - I guess I can't claim the expense of the shed I'm building on which to mount my second array.

    BTW - does anyone know the rules for claiming deductions for expenses that come when your are expanding a system whose original cost you already claimed?

    the shed is not required by the nec so you are out of luck there.

    i believe you can claim the upgraded portion only, but that's just my way of thinking on it as i'm no tax expert.
  • kcassidykcassidy Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?

    What about the cost of stripping and then replacing the roof shingles? This seems to fall into that category.
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?

    I doubt it, but I'm not a tax expert, my common sense would say redoing your roof probably doesnt' count.
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: USA Tax rebate question: Can fence be counted as deduction?

    Have your fence costs rolled into the solar installer's invoice to make it more clear that the fence is a necessary part of the solar project.
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