Proposed Legislation Titled “Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018” Seeks to Extend §179D and §45L Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives

December 21, 2018 Update: This Legislation has passed the House and is awaiting to pass in the Senate.

This week, the House released proposed legislation titled “Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018”, which seeks to extend several expired tax incentives including the §179D Energy Efficient Commercial Building Deduction (§179D Deduction) and the §45L Energy Efficient Home Credit (§45L Credit).


The §179D Deduction is a Federal tax incentive promoting energy efficient buildings for both new and existing structures. Further, architects, engineers, contractors, environmental consultants or energy services providers may also be eligible for the incentive on public projects. This incentive is often referred to as the EPAct Deduction after the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that created it, or as the §179D Deduction, which relates to its tax code section. Commercial building owners can take a Federal tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot of the building’s floor area if they install certain property (e.g., efficient lights or HVAC systems, added wall or roof insulation, etc.) that reduces energy and power costs. The §179D Deduction applied to both new construction and renovations completed between 2006 through 2017.

The §45L Credit allows eligible developers to claim a $2,000 tax credit for each newly constructed or substantially reconstructed qualifying residence. It applies to single family homes, apartments, condominiums, assisted living homes, student housing, and other types of residences. The residences must not be more than three stories above grade in height. Like the §179D Deduction, this incentive expired in 2017.


The proposed legislation extends the §179D Deduction and the §45L Credit beyond 2017 and allows taxpayers to take it for projects completed in 2018.


Out of all the buildings and homes that qualify for these incentives, very few taxpayers are taking the steps necessary to claim them. ICS can provide a free analysis to determine if these incentives are feasible, and if so, provide the necessary third-party certifications and other assistance to benefit from it. For a free consultation, please contact an ICS Tax representative.

Author: Alexander Bagne, JD, CPA, MBA, CCSP. Contributing Authors: Mike Piper, LEED AP; Kevin Johnson, LEED AP, CCSP; Jon Walgrave, LEED AP

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