After studying the IRS form and instructions
, I see no obstacles to claiming the tax credit for Solar
Electric equipment (and cost of the labor to install it) that is used at a second home. Furthermore, an RV or trailer with kitchen, bath and sleeping facilities does qualify as a (usually second) home (as long as you actually live in it at times, its not a business property, etc.). Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional and you should not take this as advice or counsel, but instead only my opinion, and offered only for discussion.
The requirement for certification by the Solar
Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) or a comparable entity, that I mentioned in post 43
, is listed in the IRS instructions for Solar Water Heating, but not for Solar Electric, so on second look, I believe that said certification is not required for a solar cell / electric setup. (Note that geothermal heat pumps need to meet the requirements of the Energy Star program and fuel cells also have an efficiency requirement)
The question arises, does the solar equipment need to be permanently installed, or do portable panels also qualify? The IRS instructions state:
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. (Non-pertinent verbiage deleted.) The home does not have to be your main home.
Nowhere in the instructions do I see a requirement that the equipment be permanently affixed or installed, only that it is used to generate electricity for the home. One manufacturer issues an eligibility certificate
for their portable units as long as the portable unit is used “...in or in connection with a qualifying dwelling unit.” I would even argue that a portable unit that is used for powering my part time residence (known as a Scamp
trailer) is even more qualified for the tax credit if I also use it at my main home for charging my cell phone or the like.
My solar unit will allow me to be off grid more often, and that translates to less use of shore power which is consistent with the intent of the tax credit. It also helps to stimulate R&D in the field which I believe is also an objective of the financial incentive. I will admit however that when I got my Economic Stimulus check in 2008
, I did not use it to stimulate the economy. Instead I put the money in the bank. I am philosophically opposed to using the tax code for social engineering and I guess I don’t care what the intent of the tax rebates or credits are as long as I legally qualify for them. That qualification was the focus of my postings.