July 5, 2020

Volume X, Number 187

July 03, 2020

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COVID-19: IRS Extends Production Tax Credit/Investment Tax Credit Safe Harbors

On May 27, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-41, which responds to industry-wide supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic by giving renewable energy developers additional time to complete their projects. Most importantly, the Notice extends two safe harbors applicable to the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC).

First, the “Continuity Safe Harbor” is extended from four years to five years for projects that began construction in 2016 or 2017. Developers that put the project in service by the end of the fifth calendar year after the year construction began will be deemed to meet the continuous construction requirement.

Second, relief is provided for developers that intend to meet the beginning construction requirement by incurring 5% of project costs, i.e., by making payments for services or property they reasonably expected to receive within 3½ months (a/k/a the 3½ Month Rule). Developers that pay for services or property on or after September 16, 2019 and actually receive the services or property by October 15, 2020, will be deemed to satisfy the 3½ Month Rule.  

This relief is available to developers of wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, fuel cells, microturbines, and combined heat and power systems. 

©2020 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 149


About this Author

Kris J. Eimicke, tax lawyer, Pierce Atwood

Kris Eimicke concentrates his practice on tax issues and economic development programs, with a special emphasis on state and federal new markets tax credit (NMTC) programs, renewable energy tax credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits, and the newly created opportunity zone program. Kris also regularly advises businesses, tax-exempt organizations, and individuals on tax issues related to a variety of business transactions, as well as representation before the Internal Revenue Service, state revenue agencies, and the courts on tax matters. 

(207) 791-1248
Olga J. Goldberg, Pierce Atwood, tax lawyer

Olga J. Goldberg advises clients in complex state and local tax matters, including transaction planning and tax compliance. She represents clients on tax controversy matters from the administrative level through litigation and appeal or settlement. Olga’s practice covers all types of state and local taxes, including corporate income, business profits, franchise, sales and use, and property tax, with a focus on New England and Texas taxes.

Olga regularly speaks and writes on a wide range of state and local tax matters, and is actively involved in IPT and COST.

Prior to joining Pierce Atwood, Olga practiced with the state and local tax groups at Rath, Young and Pignatelli, Eversheds Sutherland (formerly Sutherland Asbill & Brennan), and a boutique state and local tax litigation firm in Austin, Texas.

(207) 791-1180