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Bailout Provides Significant Expansion & Extension of Business Energy Tax Credit

In a previous article here at GRELJ, I discussed the Section 179D Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction, which was extended by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (again, the formal title for the $700 million federal bailout that was passed back on October 3). As I also noted previously, the Bailout also significantly expands the Business Energy Tax Credit that was previously enacted as Section 48 of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The duration of available tax credits for solar energy, fuel cell, and microturbine installations has been extended for 8 years until December 31, 2016. The Bailout also increases the available credit amount for fuel cell installations and provides new credits for small wind energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, and combined heat and power systems. Generally speaking, in order to qualify for the Business Energy Tax Credit, the original use of the system must begin with the taxpayer, or the system must be constructed by the taxpayer. It must also meet any performance standards in effect at the time the system is acquired (such as those set forth by the manufacturer). The equipment must also be operational during the year in which the tax credit is claimed in order for the taxpayer to earn the credit. This article provides a brief overview of the available credits for each qualifying type of technology.

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