Treasury, IRS provide safe harbor for taxpayers that develop renewable energy projects

 

IR-2020-106, May 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today provided tax relief for taxpayers that develop renewable energy projects that produce electricity from sources such as wind, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, and hydropower, and use technologies such as solar panels, fuel cells, microturbines, and combined heat and power systems.

Because COVID-19 has caused industry-wide delays in the supply chain for components needed to complete renewable energy projects otherwise eligible for important tax credits the IRS has issued Notice 2020-41 PDF to provide tax relief to affected taxpayers.

For some projects that began construction in 2016 or 2017, Notice 2020-41 adds an extra year to the four year "Continuity Safe Harbor" provided in existing guidance, such that if these projects are placed in service in five years construction will be deemed continuous.

Notice 2020-41 also provides a 3½ Month Safe Harbor for services or property paid for by the taxpayer on or after September 16, 2019 and received by October 15, 2020. 

By extending the Continuity Safe Harbor and providing a 3½ Month Safe Harbor, today's guidance will provide flexibility for taxpayers to satisfy the beginning of construction requirements and limit the impact of COVID-19-related delays on the ability to claim tax credits.

Additional information about tax relief for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on IRS.gov.