New York changes

Discussion in 'Tax Credits, Rebates and Incentives' started by zach, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. ssmith

    ssmith Member

    It seems like a real weak argument on their side. The person you are dealing with obviously doesn't seem to know the 1st thing about heating, cooling, and electricity generation. Good luck on the appeals process. Hopefully, you can get the ear of someone more knowledgeable there.
  2. SeekingAdvice

    SeekingAdvice Member

    Anyone have an updates on whether they were successful or not claiming the NYS credit? Doc/Carlos?

    I should have my system installed sometime this year, so if there is positive news, I want to catch it on my 2013 taxes.
    Personally, I had let this topic slip my mind, but a new co-worker who has his geothermal installed last month told me one of the installers he talked to claimed that all of his customers get the NYS credit, claiming something about you have to request/contact the right person in Albany (I have no clue who the installer was, I didn't ask).

    Fill me in if there is any positive or negative news. This won't prevent me from getting a system, but I sure wouldn't mind the rebate.
  3. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I think Carlos is going through mediation right now. I never heard again since I was audited. We will keep you posted.
  4. Carlos Li

    Carlos Li New Member

    As expected it is taking a very long time for the Tax Offices to review the case, (the audit was for the year 2010. I heard about the audit in March 2013, and did not hear from the tax offices rejection until February 2014).

    I just finished a Conciliation Meeting last week, which is the 2nd step towards an appeal after the initial explanation for your audit is denied by the Tax Offices. If necessary, the final step in your appeals is a hearing with a judge, which is a more formal process. I am supposed to hear from the neutral mediator at the Conciliation Meeting in about 30 days, with his opinion as to how the issue should be settled. If both parties agree, then the issue is closed; otherwise, I need to take it to the next level with a judge.

    The Conciliation Meeting lasted barely 30 minutes, (and most of the time was mine presentation of the large amount of literature supporting that solar radiation is the main energy source used by the geothermal heat pump to heat the house). The tax officer, (who was not involved in the initial tax audit, and presented their argument via video conferencing), and the "neutral" mediator, (present in the room), both gave the impression of being "naive" on the technology behind geothermal heat pumps. The tax officer gave the standard argument that they believed my system was based on earth core/radioactive energy and did not use solar energy, (you wonder if that truly is all the effort they did in looking into the issue for a whole year). I suspect the mediator knew a little more about geothermal heat pumps than he gave claim, as he started asking about things like, how much of a savings I was getting, and that his friend mentioned that the temperature of the incoming air was not as hot as with other systems. In the end, he seemed to focus on whether my system consisted of vertical or horizontal ground loops, and if the argument would be valid for either design. Overall, the meeting was very informal, and the tax officer and mediator were both very polite and receptive.

    I am not aware, and doubt that there is a "right" contact person in Albany that would facilitate the solar credit process for geothermal heat pumps. My neighbor, who is a tax accountant, believes that the Tax offices treats each case individually, and would not necessarily be aware of, or base their decisions on similar cases. NY residents going through the same process that I am going through, will likely get different tax officers and conciliation mediators to review their cases. As I was leaving the meeting, the mediator commented that it was the first time he heard of a case like mine, and believed he would likely not see another one in the near future. I believe Docjenser had a smilar inquiry, and he was able to satisfy his auditor with a letter of explanation, in other words just because someone else receives credit does not mean you will automatically have an easy pathway for receiving your credit. It is a shame that NY State does not value all forms of environmental friendly technology as deserving of a tax reward.
  5. SeekingAdvice

    SeekingAdvice Member

    I agree there is not likely a right person (but thought I would post that someone in the finger lakes region is apparently attempting to sell systems under that guise.
    Additionally, despite all of the wasted time you have had to endure on this. The best possible outcome (for the rest of us) would be for your case to go to court and for you to win.
    If there is a court case on public record stating that your system is valid for the NYS solar credit, it would be hard for the taxation department to reject future claims if people were to use your case as supporting documentation.

    Good luck either way, based on the wording of their credit, and NYSERDA's explanation of geothermal heat pumps there is no way they can legally deny your claim, it isn't your fault they wrote a bad definition. I just hope you find a judge that looks at facts, not intentions.
  6. Darryl Mayeaux

    Darryl Mayeaux New Member

    It's interesting that the law this person cites (606(g-1) is from 1981, specifies a different form (IT-218) for reporting, and has different limits (55%, $2750) in refund amounts. But the law cited does specifically exclude geothermal (but does not define geothermal).

    If any of you have made it successfully through an audit claiming ground-source (geothermal) heating project, what documents did you use in the successful support of your case?
  7. Darryl Mayeaux

    Darryl Mayeaux New Member

    Perhaps everyone already knew this, but the "definitions" section of IT-255 changed from 2005 to 2006. In 2005 and earlier, the definition specified PV systems. In 2006 the definition reads the current "components utilizing solar radiation". The latter is the definition that is on the 2013 form. (I cannot find a 2014 form, however.) The change from 2005 to 2006 would seem to add credibility to the argument given to an auditor that ground heat exchange should be permitted.
  8. Gina F

    Gina F New Member

    Does anyone know the outcome of Carlos' Conciliation meeting last June? I would really like to install a geothermal system and obviously would like 5k NYS credit if possible. Thanks!
  9. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

  10. SyracuseGeo

    SyracuseGeo New Member

    Great news. Hopefully this will get picked up by the NYS Assembly and then signed by the governor. If nothing else, a clarification of this issue would be helpfu

    Out of interest, is the $5,000 credit applicable only once per person or can it be claimed every year? I'm not seeing anything in the credit that limits it to once per person, just once per year :).
  11. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    We are trying to get this to the assembly before June. It is in ways and means committee. It is meant to get parity with solar PV, so it is meant to be just a one time credit.
  12. SyracuseGeo

    SyracuseGeo New Member

    Sounds good. To be clear, I'm asking whether the credit can be claimed once PER PERSON or once PER YEAR...any idea? The language in the credit description and the application form would seem to imply that the limit is once PER YEAR. (if so I plan to phase a PV installation)
  13. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    To my knowledge, one time credit by homeowner.
  14. Eric G

    Eric G New Member

    Any update would be greatly appreciated. I filed for this credit in 2012, only to recieve notification of an audit in March 2015. I replied with my argument and supporting docs. However, in today's Mail (6/8/2015) I recieved notice from NYS that geothermal was ineligible for the solar credit. Got to love NY.

    Trying to plan my course of action, any update or ideas would be of great help. Thanks
  15. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    3 of my customers are going through the appeal process and putting this in front of a judge right now, including our corporate attorney. There should be a ruling in the next few months. So I would advise you to appeal this decision. The counsel for NYS, as well as the mediator, mentioned that they actually agree that this technology utilizes solar radiation, but they were told to disagree.
  16. ACES-Energy

    ACES-Energy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I had two customers audited from 21012, both at the advice of DOC will be fighting. I also had several solar customers get audited from 2012 the past few months, but all were OK. It sounds like they are just starting 2012 audits, so expect more to come and hopefully with DOC or other customers who fight it to the fullest, will set precedence and not be a pain for audits of subsequent years.
  17. Stickman

    Stickman Active Member Forum Leader

    Looks like this passed the NYS Assembly and now awaits Cuomo's signature. Anybody know, if this passes does that qualify existing users of GSHP that took the credit before passage of the bill (like me)?
  18. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    The language in the bill appears to allow retroactive claims for 2015, as far as I am aware of.
  19. kls1250

    kls1250 New Member

    I just was audited for my 2012 credit and received a denial from agent John P. Rocket today with this reasoning: "Systems that generate heat directly are eligible for the credit. Therefore, geothermal systems do not qualify for the credit since these systems use energy stored within the earth's core." This forum has provided some useful information to formulate my appeal. I tried identifying the bill mentioned above but cannot determine if Cuomo signed it or the language it contains. Can someone give me more info on this new legislation? Thank you!
  20. arkie6

    arkie6 Active Member Forum Leader

    It sounds like your are dealing with an accountant rather than an engineer. But geothermal is probably the wrong terminology to use to describe these heat pumps because they don't use heat directly from within the earth's core. A more accurate description of this type of heat pump is ground source, earth coupled, or water source. The heat pump does in fact "generate heat directly" via electricity and the refrigeration cycle. It uses the ground as a heat exchanger only, not a source of heat per se. At the depths typically used for ground source heat pumps, the source temperature is typically in the 40F to 60F range in most of the US. It is impossible to heat a home with this temperature source directly.

    Edit: I read back through this thread from the start. I do find it somewhat of a stretch to consider this equipment applicable to the solar energy tax credit though. The only way you can apply it is due to the loose definition that NY applied. A ground source heat pump uses electricity to generate heat, not the earth. The reasoning used to apply the ground source heat pump equipment to the solar energy tax credit can also be applied to any type of heat pump including an air source heat pump.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015

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