Chris Henderson, VP of Operations
Architectural firms in charge of the design of public schools, government and municipal buildings are eligible to claim the EPAct §179D tax deduction for sustainable design. This deduction was part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and was intended as an incentive for architects to incorporate energy-efficient building components in their designs. Until recently, firms were limited by a three-year rolling statute to claim the deduction on amended tax returns.
However, in January 2011, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2011-14 that provided an alternative accounting method. Rather than amending tax returns, architectural firms that have not previously taken the deduction may go back as far as 2006 and claim the deduction on their current year’s return using a Form 3115. A certification report and allocation letter must be filed with the Form 3115.
In most cases, claiming the §179D deduction on a Form 3115 is the preferred method. However, if a firm has already claimed the deduction on amended returns, their accounting method is established and should remain the same. For more information on the EPAct §179D tax deduction, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Outlook 2009, the U.S. green building market is accelerating at a dramatic rate. The Trends Driving Change report, released at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston, MA, reports the value of green building construction starts was up five-fold from 2005 to 2008 (from $10 billion to $36-$49 billion), and could triple by 2013, reaching $96-$140 billion.
McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Outlook 2009 estimates the value of the U.S. green building market over the next five years, providing the first-ever comprehensive insight into the future of this fast-growing segment of the construction industry, based on data found in the McGraw-Hill Construction Network — powered by the Dodge database, construction industry surveys, data analysis and analysis of other indicators, including increases in LEED certification and government regulation. Read More →
McGraw-Hill Construction, a part of The McGraw-Hill Companies, in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Program, released the full update to its 2006 study with 2008 green home building data. The new SmartMarket Report, The Green Home Builder: Navigating for Success in a Down Economy, covers market opportunities, key triggers and obstacles, and trends in green home building practices from 2001 to 2007, such as the impact of the down market on this sector. Read More →
Credit markets – where day-to-day borrowing occurs to keep the gears of the economy turning – are still stuck. Even relatively healthy businesses are being left out in the cold. Businesses can’t get funding for supplies and in some cases are falling behind on their payrolls.
And companies in search of cash are looking to tax strategies for help.
So, how can businesses find ways for needed cash to buy inventory, finance payables, or fund payroll?
Focus On Opportunities:
Here are 4 tax tools that can make a significant difference. Read More →
Investing in renovations that make hotels more sustainable will increase their value, slash operating costs, attract customers who are trending toward more sustainable hospitality experiences, and may result in tax deductions.
Lower Operational Costs Equals Greater Value
Going green can reduce operating costs and can help differentiate you from the competition, but many in the lodging industry are not aware of the significant federal tax benefits available. With ever-increasing energy costs, an unprecedented level of government mandates for green building, heightened demand for green construction, and improvements and better pricing for environmentally sustainable materials, many owners, architects, and facility managers are considering significant updates to save cash. Read More →
According to a joint study released by Deloitte and Charles Lockwood, a growing number of companies are implementing green retrofits of their buildings to save money, improve productivity, lower absenteeism and healthcare costs, strengthen employee attraction and retention, and improve their corporate sustainability reports and brand equity – all at a relatively modest cost. However, timing is important for companies seeking to use green retrofits as a point of competitive differentiation. The earlier a company performs a green retrofit, the more differentiation it stands to gain, as we believe that the increasing interest in green building among businesses and lawmakers will soon make green construction practices mainstream. Read More →
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued guidance that can enable architects and other designers to claim a tax deduction for certain energy-efficient features in government-owned buildings. Read More →
CPAs that ignore sustainable building trends run the risk of being left behind — and losing market share. Recent research from McGraw-Hill Construction suggests that broadly defined “green” building is expected to be worth $12 billion to $20 billion this year, or 6% to 10% of the market. That’s expected to double in five years, according to the researchers.
Along the way, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is becoming increasingly familiar to consumers: More than 1,500 buildings have received LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council since the program was introduced in 2000, and more than 11,000 are seeking the designation, according to the council, a nonprofit that administers the program.
LEED attempts to quantify sustainable site development, water usage, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and other “green” factors.
How CPAs Can Capitalize On This Growing Business Opportunity
A report issued by The American Institute of Architects (AIA) encourages green building tax deductions.
According to the AIA issue brief:
AIA believes that governmental policies, programs, and incentives should encourage energy efficiency, especially as it relates to the built environment. To this end, the AIA supported legislation enacted in 2005 that allows for a tax deduction for constructing energy efficient commercial buildings and for installing energy efficient systems in existing buildings; this deduction however, expires on December 31, 2008. The AIA believes that Congress should make this deduction permanent or at least extend it until 2013, and increase the size of the deduction to increase its effectiveness. Read More →