Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS)
The U.S. tax code allows for a tax deduction for the recovery of the cost of tangible property over the useful life of the property. The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is the current depreciation method for most properties. The market certainty provided by MACRS allows businesses in a variety of economic sectors to continue making long-term investments, and has been found to be a significant driver of private investment for the commercial solar and other energy industries.
Qualifying solar energy equipment is eligible for a cost recovery period of 5 years. This can be 100 percent of your costs (after incentives), but may be limited to a $500,000 maximum annually. For more information on the federal MACRS, see IRS Publication 946, IRS Form 4562: Depreciation and Amortization, and Instructions for Form 4562
Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
All residential and commercial solar electric systems are eligible to receive the Investment Tax Credit of 30 percent of expenditures, with no maximum credit or system size. In general, the original use of the equipment must begin with the taxpayer, or the system must be constructed by the taxpayer. The equipment must also meet any performance and quality standards in effect at the time the equipment is acquired. The energy property must be operational in the year in which the credit is first taken.