Disclaimer: The information below is intended to provide only general knowledge and not tax advice–please consult a tax professional for final answers on all questions related to solar tax incentives.
For more information on the Federal Solar ITC, check out our article titled The Federal Investment Tax Credit for Solar.
In the past, some solar contractors have allowed their customers to bundle the cost of a new roof into their solar project price. The customers then claimed the cost of solar and their new roof together, getting a larger tax incentive because of the higher price.
Project Solar has never offered re-roofing services, so we have never bundled prices in this way. In addition, the IRS has recently clarified that this is not an acceptable claim:
“In general, traditional roofing materials and structural components do not qualify for the credit. However, some solar roofing tiles and solar roofing shingles serve as solar electric collectors while also performing the function of traditional roofing, serving both the functions of solar electric generation and structural support and such items may qualify for the credit. Components such as a roof's decking or rafters that serve only a roofing or structural function do not qualify for the credit.”
The IRS bulletin makes it clear that traditional roofing costs cannot be claimed under the ITC, so solar sales reps who pitch this practice are either uninformed or dishonest.
The best practice? Make sure to contact a tax professional to maximize the incentives you can claim, and consult with them through the process of going solar.
You can read more FAQ’s from the IRS about the investment tax credit here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/energy-incentives-for-individuals-residential-property-updated-questions-and-answers