The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 – What’s New for Renewable Energy?

We’ve previously written on the tax incentives available to promote renewable energy, including solar power. Our previous article is available here. In the legislative flurry that took place at the end of 2017, with the House and Senate bills for tax reform, many were concerned that federal tax incentives for renewable energy would disappear. Fortunately, provisions eviscerating the investment tax credit and the production tax credit did not make it into the final Act and the sections governing those credits remain unchanged.

What remains in the Act related to renewable energy is a mixed bag of good and bad. On the positive side, the repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax provides some potential benefit as that tax could not have been offset by the investment tax credit and the use of the production tax credit to offset that tax had its limits. Those limitations are no longer a concern. The bad news for renewable energy is also somewhat limited in its impact. The Act imposes an additional base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT), however the version of the BEAT calculation that made it into the Act preserves most of the utility of the investment tax credit and production tax credit. Moreover, BEAT applies to large, multinational corporations with average annual gross receipts of $500 million for the prior three (3) years, making it limited in its applicability to the general populace.

Because there have been no changes to the general incentives, however, it is important to note that there is still a sunset on the horizon and an incentive for early participation. Those wishing to take advantage of these credits should act with some haste to reap the most benefit.

About the Author:

Dana Apfelbaum practices in the areas of federal income, estate, and gift tax law and family business succession planning. She counsels individuals in estate planning, with an emphasis on implementing the client’s objectives, asset protection and minimizing wealth transfer taxes. Ms. Apfelbaum also represents fiduciaries through all stages of probate, estate and trust administration. In addition, she represents businesses and business owners in all types of business and tax matters, including choice of entity, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, other general business matters, and succession planning. She is a member of Dean Mead’s Solar Energy Industry Team. She may be reached at