Solar Cells and your IRA

An infrastructure built by individuals

Environmentalism. Environmentalism. Environmentalism. Drill. Drill. Drill.
 
Environmentalists say drilling is detrimental to the environment. The driller claims off-shore and tundra drilling help the animal environment. Friendly drilling needs to continue for the benefit of our society and the animal kingdom.

In the meantime alternative sources of energy “exploration” need to be developed. The solar cell energy industry has advanced considerably. One company claims they can produce a solar cell for $1 and the actual roof-top construction cost is $5 each.

But I have no money. I am working paycheck to paycheck.

You might be saving up some money in a pension plan or in an IRA.
True power lies in the ability of the individual to make decisions. Individual decisions when accumulated collectively can help or hinder a society as a whole. Collectively as the price of “at the pump” gasoline increased the individuals reduced driving habits thus the collectiveness of individual actions reduced the price of gasoline.

In the same sense government actions can help or hinder progress or should I say action or in-action of the individual as well. IRA’s and Roth IRAs have stimulated the non-pension individual to save for retirement. Some individuals have accumulated substantial massive individual account balances tax deferred or tax free. This is good.

But now the government needs to let the individual free up some of their money so the collective strength of the individual can benefit society once again.

An IRA or Roth IRA should be accessible for the individual house construction of a solar panel roof. Costs of solar cells are down and construction workers are looking for work. If the government would allow up to a $25,000 to $40,000 withdrawal from an IRA without a 10% penalty this would be the first step. Step two would be allowing the individual to: 1) withdraw the funds as a loan with payback at the selling of the house; 2) or instead of an ordinary gain charge a capital gain tax on the withdrawal.

If a loan then no monthly amounts would have to be returned to the IRS except monthly amounts received from utilities for excess electricity bought by utilities. In some utility districts the sell back amount might be higher due to the higher cost during daylight hours. The eventual selling of the house would then pay off the difference and the IRS would continue to accumulate wealth at that time with those funds.

If under a capital gain then 2008, 2009, and 2010 with an individual 15% tax bracket no capital gains tax would be paid for the cost of the solar cell roof. This would allow those in lower marginal tax brackets to truly withdraw funds and thus lower their personal costs of living. The lowering of costs may also help in freeing up other funds for IRA or retirement contributions. The higher than 25% tax bracket would enjoy a lower tax on the amount of the withdrawal by not having to pay a tax on the withdrawal of the funds for personal use at the ordinary tax rate but at the lower capital gains rate.

The third way would be the loan and capital gain rate combined. An amount above the 15% tax bracket would be considered a loan and the amount of the loan paid back as previously mentioned. For the amount in the lower tax bracket since capital gains have been calculated this amount would then not have to be paid back. Obviously the calculation would be done at the individual income tax preparation and filing time.

On the Form 1099-R, in Box 7 a code “C” for cell would be used. As with all withdrawals a payment from the trustee directly to the contractor would take place.

The advantage of this would be construction and electricians would get back to work. This collectively would be done in the southern states at first but the construction process might benefit the northern states from reduced solar cell costs. Later on with the lower costs thus this also would make solar cell roofs affordable in the northern states.

When money moves our economy moves. If money does not move our economy is stagnant.

In the meantime let’s drill, drill, drill. Let’s create an oasis for the animal kingdom and stimulate the “freely” using of electricity as previously worded on the mosaic outside of the Seattle City Light Building.

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2 Responses to Solar Cells and your IRA

  1. Hiawatha says:

    Keith,
    You might find a fresh approach in http://triadblog.info/blog.

  2. […] Solar Cells and your IRA « Keith Ljunghammar […]

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