Louisiana Solar Tax Credit Forms and Filing Date Released

NOTE: The 2015 R-1086 Form has been released. It can be accessed at the below link. Please be aware that all LA returns that will claim the solar credit must be filed electronically, and the first day of filing has been announced as January 19, 2016. LDR has not elaborated on the electronic filing process yet. 

LDR 2015 R-1086

This is an important message from GSREIA regarding the Louisiana Solar Energy Tax Credit for anyone purchasing a system in 2015. The information also applies to anyone purchasing solar prior to 2015 who has not yet claimed the credit or completed the claim process. Links to further information are available at the bottom of the page.

To All Solar Energy System Purchasers from 2015:

The 2015 Louisiana Legislature made significant changes to the state’s solar tax credit. Changes affected the amount and calculation of the credit, and the types of solar that are eligible. Changes also affected how the credit is applied for by purchasers and how it is paid by the state. What appears clear is that credits are on a first-come first-served basis based on filing date alone and that all returns claiming a solar credit must be filed electronically.

LA Department of Revenue comments found on the draft 2015 Form IT-540 Individual Tax Return:

Solar Energy Systems – Non-Leased – Code 64F – Act 131 of the 2015 Regular Legislative Session made several changes to the solar credit. The solar energy systems tax credit for purchased systems is equal to the lesser of: 1.) $2 by the total size of the system as measured in DC watts or; 2.) 50% of the first $20,000. Act 131 also repealed the eligibility of numerous types of systems, including but not limited to solar thermal systems and solar air conditioning systems, and imposed a requirement that the solar energy system be installed on the homeowner’s primary residence. See Revenue Information Bulletin 15-026 on LDR’s website. Any return claiming the solar credit must be filed electronically. (R.S. 47:6030)

As a result, it is suggested that all purchasers consult a tax advisor or CPA immediately and seriously consider filing state taxes on the very first day possible in 2016.

It is important to know:

 

  • Revisions to the state tax credit capped the maximum amount available in the remaining three years of the program for purchasers at $10 million, $10 million and $5 million respectively, for a total of $25 million.
  • The total funding allotted to the program will be reduced by any filings from earlier years that were not paid yet (late filings). It is unknown how much this will be in the first year, but estimated roughly at $5M.
  • Credit filings from solar installations in the first six months of 2015 are estimated roughly to be $15-25 million. This remains very difficult to calculate until filings are actually made in early 2016, but will be a significant part of the entire program budget for all years combined.
  • The state will not give preference to taxpayers who purchased before July 1, 2015, despite the program’s very different terms during that time period.
  • If the amount of credits exceeds the amount of funds available in the program, credits may be reduced, or denied altogether. This would apply regardless of when the system was purchased.

 

GSREIA believes that the legislature’s actions are an outrage against consumers, and may ultimately be unconstitutional. Please help fix this situation by contacting state legislators, and ask that they properly fund the solar program and not retroactively punish consumers for decisions made on the state’s honor. Find your legislators here:

https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/FindMyLegislators.aspx

GSREIA will continue to advocate for all solar owners at the Legislature, LPSC and with other officials.

 

NOTE: This message is provided for information only. GSREIA cannot provide tax advice and these statements do not constitute a tax recommendation. It is very important that all filers seek the advice and services of a tax professional in this matter for the best chance at securing the state solar credit. 

 

Please make sure to contact your legislators and governor about this critical issue! Your help will absolutely be needed to make sure consumers are not made liable for the state’s mistakes in this matter. Also, if a CPA is needed, our staff may have contact information available for one.

 

Regards,

Jeffrey D Cantin
President, GSREIA

 

Links to important information on the LA State Solar Credit: 

2015 Individual Tax Return (IT-540)

Amount Paid Out Toward Credit Caps (does not include 2015 non-leased systems until early 2016)

Revenue Bulletin Relating to Credit Changes