Is Income from Solar Panels Taxable?

If you sell electricity or credits from your solar energy panels, you may have to report that income to the IRS.

There has not been a definitive ruling from the IRS on how exactly to treat income from solar panels on your taxes. The best course of action is to consult an accountant or tax lawyer on the details of your specific situation. Remember, if you fail to report this income correctly, the IRS could hold you responsible for back taxes, as well as penalties and interest.

That being said, there are really two distinct issues at play here: electricity and energy credits. Making money producing and selling electricity is totally separate from making money selling energy credits.

Let’s tackle the issue of electricity first. Of the two, it’s the most cut and dry. Income from electricity generated from solar panels is no different from any other income and is therefore taxable.

When asked about this issue, IRS spokesman Gregg Semanick responded, “All worldwide income is taxable unless specifically exempted by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). In this case, it is not exempted by the IRC and is taxable income.” Continue reading “Is Income from Solar Panels Taxable?”

A Different Sort of Tax Holiday

Six tips to lower your tax bill during the holiday season

December’s no time to forget about taxes! Follow these tips to maximize your tax savings while you celebrate.

  • Plan tax deductible travel

Dreading that expensive trip to Grandma’s? Schedule a meeting with a client or vendor on the way and the travel there and back is tax deductible. Family visits are so much better when part of the trip’s on the IRS.

  • Treat yourself (to a tax deductible gift)

The holidays aren’t just a great time to give to others, they’re also a great time to buy yourself that something you’ve been craving all year. And if that present is tax deductible, you save money on your taxes too!

Most tempting are tech toys such as iPads and smartphones. You can deduct electronic purchases if you are self-employed, have a hobby that generates income, or work for an employer that won’t cover business expenses.

The IRS is pretty strict with equipment purchases, so it’s important you be able to demonstrate that you use the equipment at least 50% of the time for business, and that it’s a usual and necessary expense, given your line of work.

Note that if you are an employee of a business that doesn’t cover equipment purchases, you can only deduct expenses that exceed 2% of your household’s AGI. Continue reading “A Different Sort of Tax Holiday”

Income Tax Exemptions

2011 personal exemptions can help you get unclaimed IRS money

With the 2012 tax season less than two months away now is the time to brush up on your tax knowledge. One of the most fundamental things you should know about when filing your return is how to claim income tax exemptions.

An income tax exemption allows you to deduct a certain amount of money from your Adjusted Gross Income, thus reducing the total amount of money on which you must pay taxes. Let’s put it this way: income tax exemptions save you money.

And, as it turns out, the federal government holds on to millions of dollars in unclaimed deductions every year. So it’s important to claim every deduction that applies to you in order to keep all of the money you’re entitled to. Continue reading “Income Tax Exemptions”