by Andrew Walden
Does your hand cramp up from preparing multiple copies of your renewable energy tax credit forms? Does excess paperwork take the joy out of drawing down the General Fund?
It’s tough being ‘green’ these days what with the Council on Revenues complaining that abuse of solar tax credits is throwing Abercrombie’s budget out of whack and all. But DoTax is riding to the rescue. No, it’s not a new treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. DoTax has got something even better—a brand new “Composite Form N-342A” to ease the painful burden of government paperwork for individuals, corporations, and ‘pass-through entities’ claiming ten or more solar tax credits at a crack.
Now just to be clear, you peasants with nine or fewer ‘systems’ installed on your roof still have to fill out the forms the old fashioned way. But the truly enterprising and industrious corporatists, the ones who are really into the ‘green,’ need only scrawl “Composite” at the top of their N-342A, fill out the information once and you’ll start getting your welfare checks ten at a time.
DoTax explains: “…a taxpayer who has installed and placed in service 11 systems during a taxable year may claim 11 refundable credits, or 11 nonrefundable credits, or a combination of refundable and nonrefundable credits (e.g., 5 non-refundable credits and 6 refundable credits).”
DoTax hasn’t completely eliminated excess paperwork. While looting the General Fund, solar scammers are still obligated to, “Use additional Composite Schedules for Form N-342 if more than 10 systems are being reported.” But in a rare measure of bureaucratic compassion at least beneficiaries are allowed to, “List the addresses only once, even if more than one system was installed on that property.”
Perhaps because so many repetitive requests for the same information, DoTax explains: “If multiple Composite Schedules for Form N-342 are being submitted, the addresses must be listed in a continuous numerical order starting with property number ‘1’ on Part II. of the first Composite Schedules for Form N-342. If there are more than 29 addresses to be reported, property number “30” should be the first property listed on Part II. of the second Composite Schedules for Form N-342, and so on.”
Yes, now you can draw down the general fund $50K, $100K, or even $150K at a time without having to fill out repetitive unnecessary government paperwork. And you were probably thinking that State employees just don’t care!
But it’s not blue skies and rainbows for everybody. ‘Pass-through entities’ used to hide the identity of politically connected beneficiaries still have a lot of paperwork to fill in:
For situations in which there are multiple levels of investors in a renewable energy technology system, each level of investor must prepare and submit the required forms, schedules, and attachments as the “first level” of investors.
For residential users solar tax credits are limited to $5000 per system which means that ten ‘systems’ must be installed to score $50K from the State. But for industrial solar installations, the tax credit is $500K per system. So the truly massive scammers building on empty fields in Kalaeloa, DoE schools, or Kalihi warehouse roofs can now rack up the credits $5M at a time without straining their wrists.