Worried about your taxes? Take a look at one way how companies and high net worth individuals are reducing theirs – by buying windmills. The income-tax laws allow 80 per cent of the cost of the windmill to be set off against taxable income.
Private sector wind energy players have woken up to this opportunity and are offering investments in wind farms that they set up. In a shared wind farm, other companies can own anything from a single wind turbine to the entire farm. The electricity generated is sold to the state electricity board where the wind farm is situated. If an owner of a windmill wants to use the power he can draw it back from the board at a different point.
Suzlon Energy Ltd, which pioneered the model through an associate company, has now shifted it to a direct subsidiary this year. Suzlon chairman Tulsi Tanti said: “Henceforth, a Suzlon subsidiary will take up the orders for creating wind farms instead of an associate company that was also owned by our family.”
Anish Mehta, head of tax practice at accounting firm Haribhakti Group says: “Companies as well as high-net worth individuals are now investing in windmills. The company that sets up a wind farm, sells the mill to the client and charges for maintenance and operations.”
Mehta says the electricity being generated will begin to bring in revenues from the second year. If the owner can show itself as a power sector operator, it can gain more benefits under Section 80 (i)(a), under which income from power generation can get a tax holiday for 10 years. Now other companies like Enercon India and Vestas RRB have followed Suzlon with their own wind farms. In fact, wind energy is not the only form of green energy that enjoys that benefit, but this has become commercially viable. This benefit is also allowed for, among others, investments in biogas and solar energy too. Sun farms any one?
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