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Investment Credit

The investment tax credit is part of the general business credit. You can figure this credit on Form 3468: Investment Credit. Many credits make up the investment credit.

Rehabilitation credit -- This credit is for the rehabilitation of older real estate and certified historic buildings. You can claim this if you have expenses for renovating, restoring, or rehabilitating certain older buildings.

Business energy credit -- This credit is for the energy improvements made to depreciable property used for business. To claim the credit:

  • You must have constructed, reconstructed, or erected the property.
  • If you acquired the property, you must have begun the original use of the property.
  • The property must meet performance and quality standards. These are specified in regulations from the time you acquired the property.

The credit is for 30% of the cost (subject to certain restrictions and credit caps) of these types of property:

  • Qualified fuel-cell property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2005, and before Jan. 1, 2017
  • Equipment placed in service after Dec. 31, 2005, and before Jan. 1, 2017, that uses solar energy to:
    • Generate electricity
    • Heat or cool a structure
    • Provide hot water for use in a structure
    • Provide solar process heat -- Except for property used to generate energy for the purposes of heating a swimming pool
  • Equipment using solar energy to illuminate the inside of a structure using fiber-optic distributed sunlight -- You must have placed the equipment in service after Dec. 31, 2005, and before Jan 1, 2017.
  • Qualified small-wind energy property -- All property you acquired and placed in service or a portion of this property. This is property you constructed, reconstructed, or erected after Oct. 3, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2017.

You can also claim a credit of 10% of the cost of these types of property:

  • Equipment used to produce, distribute, or use the energy a geothermal deposit generates. The equipment must use geothermal power to generate electricity. This only applies:
    • Up to -- but not including -- the electrical transmission state
    • Equipment placed in service after Dec. 31, 2005
  • Equipment placed in service after Dec. 31, 2016, (before 2017 the property will qualify for the 30% credit) that uses solar energy to:
    • Generate electricity
    • Heat or cool a structure
    • Provide hot water for use in a structure
    • Provide solar process heat -- Except for property used to generate energy for the purposes of heating a swimming pool
  • Qualified microturbine property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2005, and before Jan. 1, 2017
  • Combined heat-and-power system property acquired and placed in service after Oct. 3, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2017. This also applies to the portion of the property constructed, reconstructed, or erected within that time frame.
  • Equipment with respect to property that's constructed, reconstructed, erected, or placed in service after Oct. 3, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2017. It must use the ground or ground water for one of these:
    • Thermal energy source to heat a structure
    • Thermal energy sink to cool a structure

Qualifying advanced coal project credit -- The IRS certifies qualifying projects in consultation with the Department of Energy. The credit is:

  • 30% of the qualified investment in advanced coal-based generation-technology projects
  • 20% of the qualified investment in integrated gasification combined cycle projects
  • 15% of the qualified investment in projects that use other advanced coal-based generation technologies

Qualifying gasification project credit -- The credit is 20% of the qualified investment for the tax year. The credit amount can increase to 30%. This happens when the project includes equipment that separates and sequesters 75% of the total carbon dioxide emissions.

An IRS program awards certifications for qualified investments. They're eligible for the credit to qualifying gasification project sponsors. Gasification is a process that converts a solid or liquid product into a synthesis gas. The solid or liquid products can include:

  • Coal
  • Petroleum residue
  • Biomass
  • Other materials recovered for their energy or feedstock value

If you want to learn more, see:

  • Publication 334: Tax Guide for Small Business
  • Form 3468: Investment Credit

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