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Trump administration gives renewables more time to take advantage of tax credits

Trump administration gives renewables more time to take advantage of tax credits
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The Trump administration is making it easier for renewable energy projects to take advantage of certain tax credits amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued a notice Wednesday that said it would give some companies that started construction in 2016 or 2017 an extra year before they have to put their projects in service.

The notice also allows some companies additional time to receive materials for construction in order to meet a requirement to start construction. 

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Now, those that paid for certain property or services starting on September 16, 2019, that would have allowed them to meet requirements for starting construction will have until October 15 of this year to receive them. 

The rules are intended to help taxpayers qualify for the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC). 

“The IRS recognizes that COVID-19 has caused industry-wide delays in the supply chain for components needed to complete renewable energy projects otherwise eligible for important tax credits,” said a statement from the agency, which added that the notice aims to “provide tax relief to affected taxpayers.”

The administration’s action follows a request for help for renewables from Republican Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump promises to travel to Alaska to campaign against Murkowski GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote MORE (Alaska), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Murkowski votes with Senate panel to advance Haaland nomination OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy MORE (Maine) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general GOP senators demand probe into Cuomo's handling of nursing home deaths CNN anchor confronts GOP chairman over senator's vote to convict Trump MORE (N.C.). 

Murkowski, Tillis and Collins wrote to the Treasury department asking for an extended period under which companies can start construction on renewable energy projects. The senators also said that some companies might not be able to meet requirements for a “continuous program of construction” and instead asked for “continuous efforts” to be required. 

The clean energy industry has been facing significant challenges during the economic downturn. A recent report found that since the start of the pandemic, nearly 600,000 clean energy jobs, including more than 70,000 renewable energy jobs, have been lost