David Burton

David Burton

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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Small Wind Industry Given Grace Period for Compliance with IRS Engineering Standards

On July 14, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Noticed 2015-51, which postpones the effective date of safety and performance standards mandated by Notice 2015-4. The standards in Notice 2015-4 originally applied to...more

7/22/2015 - Certifications Energy Tax Incentives Investment Tax Credits IRS Manufacturers Wind Power

IRS Issues Solar Tax Equity Memo Stating the Obvious

On Friday, the IRS issued a heavily redacted Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) memorandum, which addresses the intersection of solar investment tax credit partnership flip transactions and the wind production tax credit partnership...more

6/19/2015 - Energy Sector Investment Tax Credits IRS Memorandum of Guidance Safe Harbors Solar Energy Wind Power

New York State Passes Budget that Continues Tax Incentives for Solar Installations

Last week, New York State enacted a budget for the fiscal year 2015-16 (i.e., April 1, 2015 to Mar. 31, 2016) that continues two tax incentives for the installation of solar energy systems: (1) tax credits...more

4/17/2015 - Commercial Property Owners Popular Property Owners Solar Energy Solar Panels State Budgets Tax Exemptions Tax Incentives

Split Decision on Ormat’s Motion to Dismiss Ex-Employees’ Claims of Cash Grant Fraud

The opinion of March 24 from the U.S. District Court for Nevada granted in part and denied in part Ormat’s motion to dismiss an action brought by ex-Ormat employees under the False Claims Act. The ex-employees are alleging...more

3/30/2015 - Energy Sector False Claims Act Grants IRS Power Plants Whistleblowers

IRS Publishes Favorable Guidance on PTC “Start of Construction” Rules

Today, the IRS published Notice 2015-25 that provides guidance the wind power industry has been waiting for since the extension of the production tax credit (PTC) in December....more

3/12/2015 - Construction Industry Construction Project Investment Tax Credits IRC IRS Production Tax Credit

Sound Bites from Infocast Wind Finance 2015

The Infocast Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit 2015 was held from February 10 to 12 in San Diego. Below are selected sound bites regarding the tax equity market and other finance related matters....more

2/18/2015 - Energy Projects Energy Sector Energy Summit Equity Financing Financing Production Tax Credit

Ormat Defends 1603 Cash Grant Awards in Suit by Ex-Employees

Ormat is a successful developer of geothermal energy projects. Two former employees have brought a lawsuit alleging that Ormat made inaccurate 1603 Cash Grant submissions to obtain grants for projects that should not have...more

2/12/2015

Court Sustains Treasury’s 2/3 Reduction of Cash Grant for Cogen Open-Loop Biomass Plant

The United States Court of Federal Claims on January 12 rendered an opinion in W.E. Partners II, LLC v. U.S. sustaining the Treasury Department’s reduction by approximately two-thirds of a Cash Grant for a cogeneration...more

2/6/2015 - Biomass Court of Federal Claims Energy Projects Energy Sector Federal Grants Power Plants U.S. Treasury

IRS Specifies Performance and Quality Standards for Small Wind Turbines

On January 13, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2015-4 which specifies the performance and quality standards that small wind turbines must meet in order to qualify for the 30 percent investment tax credit...more

1/16/2015 - Energy Sector Investment Tax Credits IRS Wind Power

Sol-Wind’s IPO Compared to YieldCos & Structures of Other MLPs

Yesterday, Sol-Wind filed its S-1 with the Securities & Exchange Commission for its listing on the NYSE. Its ticker symbol will be SLWD. Here is a link to my structure diagrams for Sol-Wind and comparisons of it to a...more

12/24/2014 - IPO Master Limited Partnerships Oil & Gas SEC Solar Energy Wind Power

Senate Passes PTC Extension for 2014

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, H.R. 5771, was passed by the Senate on December 16 and by the House on December 3. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days. ...more

12/18/2014 - Construction Project Energy Projects Production Tax Credit Tax Extenders Wind Power

House Passes PTC Extension through End of 2014

Today, the House passed H.R. 5771. To become law, H.R. 5571 must still pass the Senate and be signed by the President. We expect both of those steps will occur by the end of the year....more

12/4/2014 - IRS Pending Legislation Production Tax Credit Time Extensions

FAQs Expiration of 30 Percent ITC After 2016

Some industry participants and observers are confused about what the investment tax credit (ITC) rules for solar will be on January 1, 2017. In an effort to provide some clarity to this issue, below are frequently asked...more

11/19/2014 - Depreciation Energy Projects Investment Tax Credits IRS Solar Energy

IRS Rules That Some Basis in Solar System Must Be Allocated to Structural Functions

On October 31, the IRS released Private Letter Ruling 201444025, which was addressed to a manufacturer of solar systems that are mounted on real estate. The nature of the real estate, along with many other interesting facts,...more

11/11/2014 - Energy Projects IRS Manufacturers Private Letter Rulings Solar Energy Tax Credits

Pre-election PTC Extension Update

With the election on Tuesday, the wind industry’s attention is particularly focused on the prospects for the extension of the production tax credit (PTC). There have been four interesting developments related to the extension...more

11/4/2014 - Energy Projects Energy Sector Legislative Agendas Production Tax Credit Renewable Energy Wind Power

CRS Report on the Production Tax Credit

On October 2, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published an overview of the production tax credit (PTC). The report is available below. It contains a helpful summary of the history of the PTC and an insightful...more

10/22/2014 - Alternative Minimum Tax Energy Policy Energy Tax Incentives Investment Tax Credits Production Tax Credit Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Joint Committee’s Report on Energy Tax Incentives Misses the Mark on Green Jobs

The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) on September 16 published a report analyzing federal energy tax incentives. The report is available below. The report is generally insightful; however, it has a misguided job-creation...more

10/8/2014 - DOE Electricity Energy Policy Energy Tax Incentives Job Creation Legislative Committees Oil & Gas Production Tax Credit Renewable Energy Solar Energy Wind Power

Cash Grant Sequester Rate Increased From 7.2 to 7.3 Percent for Fiscal Year 2015

The Department of the Treasury has announced that for fiscal year 2015 the Cash Grant sequester rate will be increased from 7.2 to 7.3 percent. The announcement is available below. The change applies to Cash Grants paid on...more

10/1/2014 - Energy Grants Sequestration Solar Energy U.S. Treasury

IRS Internal Memorandum Advises That Self-Employment Tax Applies to Profits From an Investment Manager

On September 5, 2014, the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released an internal generic legal advice memorandum advising an IRS field agent that the statutorily provided “limited partner” exception to...more

9/11/2014 - Income Taxes Investment Adviser IRS Self-Employment Tax

IRS Comments on its PTC Start of Construction Guidance

On August 20, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) held a webinar to discuss Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2014-46, which clarified the rules for wind projects to be grandfathered for production tax credit...more

8/22/2014 - Construction Contracts Eligibility Energy Energy Projects IRS Production Tax Credit Renewable Energy Safe Harbors Wind Power

IRS Finally Releases Clarifications to PTC “Start of Construction” Guidance

On Friday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2014-46, which clarifies the rules for a wind project to be deemed to have started construction in 2013 as is necessary to be eligible for production tax credits...more

8/11/2014 - Construction Site Energy Energy Projects Final Rules Investment Tax Credits IRS Production Tax Credit Renewable Energy Sustainable Projects Tax Credits Wind Farm Wind Power

CRS Report Takes Negative View on Bonus Depreciation

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has issued a report analyzing the economic effects of bonus depreciation. CRS has very little to say that is positive about bonus depreciation. CRS views it as neither an effective...more

8/1/2014 - Bonus Depreciation Corporate Tax Rates Corporate Taxes Economic Development Information Reports Senate Finance Committee Tax Rates Tax Reform U.S. Treasury

PTC “Start of Construction” Clarifying Guidance Expected in a Week or Two

General Electric (GE) stated on its quarterly earnings call today that it expected that the clarification to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) production tax credit (PTC) “start of construction” guidance would be released...more

7/21/2014 - Construction Contracts Construction Project General Electric Guidance Update IRS Production Tax Credit

Sound Bites from REFF Wall Street

The Renewable Energy Finance Forum Wall Street was held on June 25 and 26. Below are selected sound bites about YieldCos, tax equity and the capital markets opportunities for renewables. This post was prepared without the...more

7/2/2014 - Capital Markets Energy Renewable Energy Wall Street YieldCos

SolarCity Discovery Motion Details Treasury’s Cash Grant Processes and Treasury’s Communications with SolarCity

On June 23, 2014, Covington & Burling (C&B), on behalf of affiliates of SolarCity Corporation (“SolarCity”) filed a motion in the Court of Federal Claims to compel Treasury to produce documents related to the setting of...more

6/26/2014 - DOJ Energy Grants IRS Renewable Energy Solar Energy

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