Certain business tax incentives can help organizations reduce the cost of energy efficiency. Although the deadline to claim 2011 energy-saving commercial tax incentives was last week, you may already be thinking about making your company more energy efficient in 2012. Several energy efficiency tax incentives for companies have expired, but two are available for 2012: one for buildings and one for electric vehicles.
Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction
If you make your building more energy efficient, you can claim the energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction. This tax deduction is available for businesses that improve the performance of:
- Building envelope
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
The deduction is worth $1.80 per square foot of the building for retrofits that address all three of the above areas, and $0.60 per square foot for retrofits that address one of these areas. To qualify for the full $1.80 deduction, the retrofit must bring the building to performance levels at least 50% better than certain standards set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in the three categories.
Resources for the Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction:
For more information on the energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction, check out:
- The buildings section in the Alliance’s overview of Commercial and Manufacturing Tax Incentives for Energy Efficiency resource
- New guidance on the 179D commercial buildings deduction
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Energy Savings Modeling and Inspection Guidelines for Commercial Building Federal Tax Deductions on requirements for building retrofits
- IRS notices 2006-52 and 2008-40
- The Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program information web page and Tax Deductions for Commercial Buildings [pdf] flyer
Electric Vehicles & Refueling Property Tax Credit
Several electric cars and other electric vehicles are eligible for a tax credit. If you or your company bought a battery-powered, plug-in car that can drive on the highway anytime after 2009, you can get a tax credit of up to $7,500.
Resources for the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
For more information on the electric vehicles and refueling property tax credit, check out:
- The vehicle section of the Alliance’s Commercial and Manufacturing Tax Incentives for Energy Efficiencyresource
- The IRS’s resource on credit amounts for qualified vehicles bought after Dec. 31, 2009
- The FuelEconomy.gov web page on federal tax credits for electric vehicles purchased after 2010
- The IRS web page on the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit (IRC 30 and IRC 30D)
We at the Alliance to Save Energy are experts on energy efficiency, not taxes and thus do not provide tax advice. For further details, businesses should consult a tax professional and the Internal Revenue Service.