Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/solar power tax credit


Let's assume I have an annual federal tax bill of $5,000.  Let's assume I purchase a $50,000 solar panel system in 2015.  As the federal tax credit expires on 12/31/16, will I be able to carry over my unused tax credit and apply it towards my 2017 tax return?

Or do I only have 2 years (2015 and 2016) to consume the tax credit, and thus any unused tax credits not used by 2016 will be wasted?


Thanks for your question.

As you probably know, the credit is 30% of the cost of the residential solar panel system without a dollar limitation.

At this point, it is certain that you can carry an remaining credit to 2016.  However, the IRS has not ruled if any credit can be carried forward to 2017. I would anticipate that they would issue some guidance on this fairly soon, but they have not done anything yet.

Hope this helps, and sorry I can't give you a more definitive answer.

John Stancil, CPA  

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

FICPA, NATP, NCPE Fellowship, Lakeland Business Leaders

The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

©2016 All rights reserved.