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The Inflation Reduction Act: what’s in it for you?

You may have heard that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law recently. While experts have varying opinions about whether it will reduce inflation in the near future, it contains, extends, and modifies many climate and energy-related tax credits that may be of interest to individuals. 


Nonbusiness energy property

Before the IRA was enacted, you were allowed a personal tax credit for certain nonbusiness energy property expenses. The credit applied only to property placed in service before January 1, 2022. The credit is now extended for energy-efficient property placed in service before January 1, 2033. The new law also increases the credit for a tax year to an amount equal to 30% of the amount paid or incurred by you for qualified energy efficiency improvements installed during the year, and the amount of the residential energy property expenditures paid or incurred during that year. The credit is further increased for amounts spent for a home energy audit (up to $150). In addition, the IRA repeals the lifetime credit limitation and instead limits the credit to $1,200 per taxpayer, per year. There are also annual limits of $600 for credits with respect to residential energy property expenditures, windows, and skylights, and $250 for any exterior door ($500 total for all exterior doors). A $2,000 annual limit applies with respect to amounts paid or incurred for specified heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and biomass stoves/boilers.


The residential clean-energy credit

Prior to the IRA being enacted, you were allowed a personal tax credit, known as the Residential Energy Efficient Property (REEP) Credit, for solar electric, solar hot water, fuel cell, small wind energy, geothermal heat pump, and biomass fuel property installed in homes before 2024. The new law makes the credit available for property installed before 2035. It also makes the credit available for qualified battery storage technology expenses. 


New Clean Vehicle Credit

Before the enactment of the law, you could claim a credit for each new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle placed in service during the tax year. The law renames the credit the Clean Vehicle Credit and eliminates the limitation on the number of vehicles eligible for the credit. Also, final assembly of the vehicle must now take place in North America. Beginning in 2023, there will be income limitations. No Clean Vehicle Credit is allowed if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) for the year of purchase or the preceding year exceeds $300,000 for a married couple filing jointly, $225,000 for a head of household, or $150,000 for others. In addition, no credit is allowed if the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the vehicle is more than $55,000 ($80,000 for pickups, vans, or SUVs). Finally, the way the credit is calculated is changing. The rules are complicated, but they place more emphasis on where the battery components (and critical minerals used in the battery) are sourced. The IRS provides more information about the Clean Vehicle Credit here: 


Credit for used clean vehicles

A qualified buyer who acquires and places in service a previously owned clean vehicle after 2022 is allowed a tax credit equal to the lesser of $4,000 or 30% of the vehicle’s sale price. No credit is allowed if your MAGI for the year of purchase or the preceding year exceeds $150,000 for married couples filing jointly, $112,500 for a head of household, or $75,000 for others. In addition, the maximum price per vehicle is $25,000.

Contact us if you have questions about taking advantage of these new and revised tax credits. © 2022


Are you aware of the Residential Clean Energy Credit?

The Clean Vehicle Credit is getting some of the attention, but the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) also includes many new or revised home energy improvement-related tax credits. For example, the credit previously known as the Residential Energy Efficient Property (REEP) Credit is now the Residential Clean Energy Credit. Individuals are allowed a personal tax credit for solar electric, solar hot water, fuel cell, small wind energy, geothermal heat pump, and biomass fuel property installed in homes before 2024. Under the IRA, the credit has been extended for property installed before 2035. The credit is also available for qualified battery storage technology expenditures.

Contact one of our experts for more information.


Tax Credit for Higher Education

It’s that time of year when students are starting or returning to college or trade school. Higher education is expensive, but taxpayers who take post-high school coursework in 2022 (or who have dependents taking such coursework) may qualify for one of two tax credits that can reduce their tax bills. The American Opportunity Tax Credit is worth up to $2,500 per eligible student for the first four years at an eligible school. The Lifetime Learning Credit tops out at $2,000 per tax return for any number of years. Income-based limits and additional rules apply.

To find out if you qualify for either credit, use this tool: , or contact one of our experts


General Tax

Interested in an Electric Vehicle? How to qualify for a powerful tax credit.

Sales and registrations of electric vehicles (EVs) have increased dramatically in the U.S. in 2022, according to several sources. However, while they’re still a small percentage of the cars on the road today, they’re increasing in popularity all the time. If you buy one, you may be eligible for a federal tax break. The tax code provides credit to purchasers of qualifying plug-in electric drive motor vehicles including passenger vehicles and light trucks. The credit is equal to $2,500 plus an additional amount, based on battery capacity, that can’t exceed $5,000. Therefore, the maximum credit allowed for a qualifying EV is $7,500. Be aware that not all EVs are eligible for the tax break, as we’ll describe below. The EV definition for purposes of the tax credit, a qualifying vehicle is defined as one with four wheels that’s propelled to a significant extent by an electric motor, which draws electricity from a battery. The battery must have a capacity of not less than four-kilowatt hours and be capable of being recharged from an external source of electricity. The credit may not be available because of a per-manufacturer cumulative sales limitation. Specifically, it phases out over six quarters beginning when a manufacturer has sold at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles for use in the United States (determined on a cumulative basis for sales after December 31, 2009). For example, Tesla and General Motors vehicles are no longer eligible for the tax credit. And Toyota is the latest auto manufacturer to sell enough plug-in EVs to trigger a gradual phase-out of federal tax incentives for certain models sold in the U.S. Several automakers are telling Congress to eliminate the limit. In a letter, GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota asked Congressional leaders to give all-electric car and light truck buyers a tax credit of up to $7,500. The group says that lifting the limit would give buyers more choices, encourage greater EV adoption and provide stability to auto workers. The IRS provides a list of qualifying vehicles on its website, and it recently added some eligible models. You can access the list here: . Here are some additional points about the plug-in electric vehicle tax credit: It’s allowed in the year you place the vehicle in service. The vehicle must be new. An eligible vehicle must be used predominantly in the U.S. and have a gross weight of fewer than 14,000 pounds. These are only the basic rules. There may be additional incentives provided by your state. If you want more information about the federal plug-in electric vehicle tax break, contact us. © 2022

Helpful Articles Tax

Claiming Available Tax Credits for Businesses

The U.S. offers a variety of tax credits and other incentives to encourage employment and investment, often in targeted industries or areas such as innovation and technology, renewable energy and low-income or distressed communities. Many states and localities also offer tax incentives. Businesses should make sure they are claiming all available tax credits for 2021 and begin exploring new tax credit opportunities for 2022.

  • The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a refundable payroll tax credit for qualifying employers that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Employers that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan can claim the ERC but the same wages cannot be used for both programs. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021, retroactively ends the ERC on September 30, 2021, for most employers.
  • Businesses that incur expenses related to qualified research and development (R&D) activities are eligible for the federal R&D credit.
  • Taxpayers that reinvest capital gains in Qualified Opportunity Zones may be able to defer the federal tax due on the capital gains. An additional 10% gain exclusion also may apply if the investment is made by December 31, 2021. The investment must be made within a certain period after the disposition giving rise to the gain.
  • The New Markets Tax Credit Program provides federally funded tax credits for approved investments in low-income communities that are made through certified “Community Development Entities.”
  • Other incentives for employers include the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the Federal Empowerment Zone Credit, the Indian Employment Credit and credits for paid family and medical leave (FMLA).

There are several federal tax benefits available for investments to promote energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives. In addition, the Build Back Better Act proposes to extend and enhance certain green energy credits as well as introduce a variety of new incentives. The proposals also would introduce the ability for taxpayers to elect cash payments in lieu of certain credits and impose prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements in the determination of certain credit amounts.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Employee Retention Tax Credit

On March 1, the IRS issued guidance for employers claiming the employee retention credit (ERC) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), as modified in December 2020 by the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Relief Act). The ERC is designed to help eligible businesses keep employees on their payroll by offering a credit against employment taxes when qualified wages and healthcare expenses are paid during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance under Notice 2021-20 clarifies and describes retroactive changes to the ERC under the new law for employers seeking to claim the credit for 2020 in the form of frequently asked questions. The IRS has stated that it will address calendar quarters in 2021 in later guidance.

Under the 2020 ERC rules, 50% of qualified wages and healthcare expenses (up to $10,000 of wages per employee in 2020) are fully refundable if paid by businesses that experienced a full or partial suspension of their operations or a significant decline in gross receipts. Prior to the Relief Act, employers that had received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were not eligible to claim the ERC. Now, employers with PPP loans can retroactively claim the ERC, however, the same wages cannot be used for both benefits. Q&A 49 of the notice outlines the IRS’ position on the interaction of the ERC with PPP loans for 2020.


Unfortunately, borrowers who have already received PPP loan forgiveness do not have the same planning opportunities that are available to borrowers who have not yet filed the SBA application, Form 3508 series, for forgiveness.

An eligible employer can elect which wages are used to calculate the ERC and which wages are used for PPP loan forgiveness. Generally, the election is made by not claiming the ERC on the federal employment tax return for the quarter. If the IRS adhered to this general rule, it would nullify the retroactive effective date of the credit. Therefore, in lieu of the general rule on how an employer would elect the wages used for ERC (i.e., by not claiming the ERC on the federal employment tax return for the quarter), the notice provides for a deemed election for any qualified wages that are included in the amount reported as payroll costs on the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application, unless the included payroll costs exceed the amount needed for full forgiveness when considering only the entries on the application.

For example, a business that borrows $100,000 of PPP loans and has both payroll and nonpayroll costs that far exceed the borrowed amount but reported payroll costs of $100,000 on their application to simplify the forgiveness process, cannot use any of the $100,000 of payroll cost to claim the ERC. This is notwithstanding the fact that 100% forgiveness may have been achieved by reporting only $60,000 of payroll costs and the remaining $40,000 from nonpayroll costs.

While the text of Q&A 49 appears to treat the minimum amount of payroll costs required for PPP loan forgiveness (i.e., 60%) as being the deemed election, the examples make it clear that the entire $100,000 in payroll costs reported on the PPP application cannot be included in ERC calculations. The IRS’ examples do not address the documented nonpayroll expenses that were excluded from the PPP application but were retained in the borrower’s files in accordance with the SBA’s instructions.

The notice also formalizes and expands on prior IRS responses to frequently asked questions and addresses changes made since the enactment of the Relief Act. It contains 71 frequently asked questions regarding the following topics:

  • Eligible employers
  • Aggregation rules
  • Governmental orders
  • Full or partial suspension of trade or business operations
  • Significant decline in gross receipts
  • Maximum amount of employer’s ERC
  • Qualified wages
  • Allocable qualified health plan expenses
  • Interaction with PPP loans
  • Claiming the ERC
  • Special issues for employees regarding income and deduction
  • Special issues for employers regarding income and deduction
  • Special issues for employers that use third-party payers
  • Substantiation requirements


For more questions regarding the Employee Retention Credit, contact your ATA representative.

Helpful Articles

Employer Retention Credits

Valuable tax credits are available to employers to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But amid the chaos of the last few months, it may be hard to navigate the details of how to qualify for the credits. To help, the IRS has created a flowchart that explains the details of the Employer Retention Credit.

Also included in the document is a Leave Credits chart, which breaks down eligibility for paid sick leave and paid family leave credits by the employee’s situation. Employers can use the charts to determine whether they’re eligible for the credits, the amount of the credits, and which wages apply to the credits.

Here are the two charts: