diy solar

diy solar

Solar tax credit question

Also, if you pay for it on credit you claim the cost of the unit in the year installed. Finance costs - interest- is not part of the system
Good to know, because I do have to pay the interest over time. So If the battery was $1350 including tax, that's what I would claim, and not the interest? I bought the battery last October and made a couple payments on it before the year was up.

Everything else I bought with cash, or a Lowe's credit card. Gonna be fun rounding up all those receipts.. should've kept a running tab as I bought stuff.
Yeah, need a good shoebox.

eBay and Harbor Freight come to my inbox.
Guess I should accept Lowe's offer to email receipts.

One could probably negotiate a zero interest financing deal, with costs baked into purchase price. It is done for cars. "Care Credit" card is such, with service provider paying for that (effectively discounting price to cover).

Some thing have "imputed interest" applied by the IRS, don't remember when that comes up.
I did put most of the Lowe's, Ace Hardware (local purchases) receipts in an old cigar box. But I'll have to dig thru lots of email receipts from various vendors for wire, hardware, connectors,etc.

There was one purchase from Lowe's where I bought 20 bags of Quikrete and some lumber in December '22, but I can't find it, and the store couldn't find it, said their records didn't go back that far. I could log in to the credit card site and check for myself but not too optimistic. If I had set up a MyLowes account I would have that info, but I didn't sign up for it.
I contacted Santan sales and asked them about my panels, and they did say they were new, just unboxed, but never installed. They showed me the original invoice which states they're new. So that covers that issue.

Now I gotta figure out how to do the rest of my taxes..what a pain.
Ok, I wonder if I can include all the labor I put into this..

The question is, how much would I pay me?? 🤔🤔
Except then you would need to report the labor as income on schedule C and pay income tax and self employment tax also.

Put the total $$ together for the money spent on the entire system and file for the credit. Deadline is fast approaching.
File an extension if you need time. That way if you pay any balance due later it is just a small late payment charge about an interest amount.
You don't want to file late if you do owe anything.

I've been using Turbotax for years.
It is free for some people.
It can be done online, or purchased disk or download.

It has been more buggy in recent years, but it carries over things from one year to next, making taxes easy.

There is also Tax Act. Maybe others.

The IRS may also have an on-line system now, not sure.

Alternatively, you can file a simple 1040EZ or whatever works now, and amend later. So far as I know you could put in the credit by amendment.
But the credit is the easy part. "How much did you spend?" and you just enter that.
I'm using the free TaxSlayer platform, provided by the IRS. If your AGI is under a certain amount you can get the free version. I've filled out most of the form, I just need to add the solar credit part, along with some investment and medical plan info into it. I'm not that far from completing it, and I have a couple days to do that. The investment part is complicated but I'll figure it out.

We will get a decent refund even without the credit, so no, I wouldn't have to worry about filing a late tax payment. We have been filing a 1040 pretty much every year since we've been married (15 years) because of various reasons. I haven't filed a 1040EZ form since I was single.
Last edited:
Ok, just about done with my taxes. The medical coverage thing wasn't a issue. We had an FSA plan last year and that's not something that's reported, as opposed to a HSA.

The stock thing was a bit more complicated, basically it was a K-1 document regarding one of my ETF purchases. I got that figured out.

I wrote up most of my solar purchases up on a sheet, and am just about done with it. The only thing really left is a bit of hardware items.

We're in line for a sizeable credit, but because our tax burden on our taxable income is so low, we'll only be able to use less than half of the credit. So we'll have to carry that over to next year. Kinda disappointed we couldn't use it all, but them's the rules..
Thanks for this great discussion. I was concerned about purchases I make in 2024, since I will occupy the home in 2025.
I'll have ~$3000 to $4000 in plastic tubing for my Ground Source Heat Pump in the ground in 2024, and it is good to hear the consensus is that expense can be brought forward to the 2025 tax year, when I can get occupancy and put the equipment into service.
Just an update. I got our taxes done the night of the 14th and e-filed them that night. We got our refund in less than a week.

The total fed solar power credit was just under $2K, but because of our low tax liability, we only got about $800 of that this year. The rest will carry over to next year's return. Plus, I'll be able to add onto that the credit for the 2nd battery I bought a couple months ago.

Thanks for all the informative replies.