Go Green, Get Green: NYS Tax Department Reminds New Yorkers of Solar Energy Systems Equipment Credit

Between 2012 to 2014, Tax Department issues $38.3 million in solar credit as claims rose 194%

December 22, 2016

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced that New Yorkers have claimed more than $38 million with a tax credit available to those who’ve installed solar energy systems at their primary residence. Between 2012 and 2014, claims for the Solar Energy Systems Equipment Credit increased 194%. The Tax Department received 9,041 claims for the credit in 2014, up from 3,074 in 2012. 

“The momentum continues to build for Governor Cuomo’s clean energy initiatives,” said New York State Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion. “The increased number of credit claims highlights the importance environmentally-mindful New Yorkers place on conserving our natural resources for future generations.”

New Yorkers are eligible to claim this credit if they’ve purchased solar energy equipment, leased the equipment, or have agreed to purchase energy produced by a solar energy system for at least ten years.

The credit is equal to 25% of the expenses related to the qualified solar energy system up to $5,000. The average credit amount between 2012 and 2014 was $2,345.

Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative is aimed at building a next-generation New York energy system that is clean, resilient, and affordable. Tax credits are a critical part of the Governor’s plan. This valuable incentive has contributed to a dramatic overall increase in solar installations across the state—a nearly 730% spike between the beginning of 2012 and the end of November 2016. New York State now ranks fourth in the number of people employed in the solar industry and fifth in total annual solar installations, up from ninth in 2013.

“The State has seen a tremendous growth in solar under NY Sun as New Yorkers turn to this renewable resource to power their homes and businesses,” said NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes. “With some of the most ambitious clean energy goals in the country, and an unwavering commitment to achieve these goals by Governor Cuomo, New York is a national model in developing a robust solar market.”
In addition to the tax credits available for qualifying solar installations, the State’s 4% sales tax isn’t charged on the sale or installation of commercial solar energy systems equipment. The exemption also applies to the 3/8% sales tax imposed in the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District. The law allows cities and counties, including New York City, to provide a similar tax exemption from their local sales taxes.

The law is described in detail on the Tax Department's Web site, www.tax.ny.gov.

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