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How Does The Electric Car Tax Credit Work

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Some Examples Of Vehicles That May Still Qualify For A Tax Credit

EV Tax Credit Explained How to Claim the EV Tax Credit

Although its important to check the Federal website for the latest credit information, here are a few of the many vehicles that may still offer a full tax credit, along with the credit amount, as of September 2020.

  • BMW i3s: $7,500
  • Ford Fusion Energi : $4,007
  • Honda Clarity: $7,500
  • Toyota Rav4 Prime: $7,500

Is The Tax Credit Available Every Time

The federal tax credit for electric vehicles is a temporary financial incentive. It will be gradually phased out starting on the second calendar quarter after a manufacturer reaches the 200,000-unit threshold, which the IRS will publicly announce along with the subsequent phase-out schedule.

Only 200,000 electric cars per manufacturer are eligible for the fully electric car tax credit. So you need to make sure that you belong to the first 200,000 buyers of the electric car of a specific car manufacturer. Once the 200,000 eligible electric vehicles are sold, the federal government will start to gradually decrease the tax credit until no credit is available. That means that if the car manufacturer reaches that 200,000 mark, the tax credit available to the consumer decreases to 50% of the original full incentive in the next quarter, then 25% in the succeeding quarters until the tax incentive is finally eliminated.

In short, you need to hurry up in buying your electric car to avail of the tax credit while supplies for eligible electric cars last. You can also visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to check cars that are eligible and tax credit phased out a schedule of car manufacturers.

Estimate Your Tax Obligation For That Year

When you go to claim the $7,500 credit, the amount will come from your tax obligation for that year. If you owe less than $7,500 in taxes, you wont be able to claim the entire amount. Instead, you will be able to deduct as much as you owe until you get to $0.

For example, if you buy an EV in 2019 but only owe $6,500 in taxes, thats the most you can deduct on your federal tax filing.

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Does California Offer A Tax Credit For Electric Cars

California does its tax credits for electric vehicles a little differently. They offer rebates rather than tax credits.

You may receive up to $1,500 for electric vehicles and plug-in vehicles. The exact amount will depend on the size of the battery.

If youre living in the state of California, you should check with your local government about electric car incentives. Depending on your location within California, you could get extra cash, access to more road privileges, or some other kinds of incentives.

Politics May Impact The Ev Tax Credit

How do Tax Credits for Hybrid and Electric Cars work?

The EV Tax credit has become a hot-button issue as the current administration strives to put more EVs into production. Many automakers, like GM, have lobbied for an extension of the federal tax credit, arguing that it’s key to making EVs affordable for all.

Some lawmakers are looking to up the tax credit to around $12,500, as part of current legislation. Whether or not anyone sees this increase is still to be seen. On the other side of the coin, some lawmakers would rather see the credit vanish completely.

The Federal EV tax credit is definitely something to consider if you’re in the market for an electric vehicle. This can take the cost of a new model down quite a bit if you qualify. If you don’t qualify for the federal credit, some state and local EV tax credits may apply to you.

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How To Claim An Ev Federal Tax Credit

Claiming your EV federal tax credit is a fairly straightforward process. First, decide on the car you want and find out if the automaker has EV tax credits available for buyers. As noted above, after the automaker has sold 200,000 vehicles, the credit is reduced to 50 percent of the original amount. After six months, its reduced again, to 25 percent, for another six months, until finally the credit is phased out completely.

Before you buy an EV, assess your tax situation and ensure that youll be able to claim the federal tax credit. After purchasing a qualifying electric vehicle, you will receive a certification from the manufacturer verifying that you qualify for the federal tax credit. Use the information included in that certification to fill out Form 8936, which youll use to complete Form 1040. Submit both forms when you file your income tax return.

Does The Tax Credit Apply To Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

Yes, the $7,500 tax credit also applies to hydrogen fuel-cell cars. However, its important to check the US Department of Energys website and see if you live near a hydrogen refueling station otherwise, it doesnt make sense to invest in a hydrogen fuel cell car. Some good models include the Hyundai Nexo, Honda Clarity, and Toyota Mirai.

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Which Evs Are Eligible

The federal electric car tax credit can be applied to some of the most popular EVs on the market today, including the Nissan LEAF and the BMW i3.

There are some conditions that the car must meet to be eligible.

Here are main criteria to keep in mind:

  • The car must be a battery electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid with a battery capacity of 5 kilowatt hours or more
  • The car must be purchased new
  • The car must be purchased after December 31, 2009
  • The car must be driven primarily in the U.S.
  • The manufacturer must have sold less than 200,000 qualifying vehicles

If theres any doubt whether the make and model that youre interested in will qualify, you can head to this EPA website to see a comprehensive list.

Compare EVs Near You

How Many Credits Does A Vehicle Qualify For

EV Tax Credits Explained | How EV Tax Credits Work – Krystal A. CPA

The amount of credits, or tax incentives, that any car can qualify for depends on the size of the battery in the car. Every car that qualifies starts with a base incentive of $2500, and then for every 5 kWh of battery capacity, the vehicle qualifies for another $417 of credits. Vehicles can qualify for up to $7500 of tax credits.

That said, once an automaker sells a total of 200,000 units that qualify for the rebateit can be a mix of modelsa phase-out begins. The available tax credit is reduced by 50 percent for two quarters and then 25 percent for the subsequent two quarters. At that point, the vehicles made by the automaker no longer qualify.

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What Is The Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

Tax credits for electric vehicles started in 2008, with EV credits still available today for taxpayers who purchase a qualifying vehicle.

Like most tax credits and certain types of deductions, these tax incentives are meant to encourage certain forms of behaviorlike buying an electric car. Theres a lot of debate around just how environmentally friendly an electric vehicle is once it rolls off the production line. Regardless of this debate, if you purchase an EV, you can claim a generous tax credit.

Are Tesla Or Gm Vehicles Eligible

The government has elected to phase out the vehicle credits as new unit sales increase, potentially impacting some of the larger vehicle manufacturers.

Each manufacturer’s expiration date is separate and comes after an automaker sells 200,000 eligible vehicles. Tesla and GM both hit that figure in 2018. According to, Nissan may have hit that figure in 2021 as well.

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Do Electric Vehicle Tax Credits Run Out

Yes. The government is phasing out the electric vehicle tax credits as sales increase, on the theory that the high initial cost of adding new technology to a vehicle will come down as economies of scale improve with more sales. That’s supposed to eliminate the need for subsidies. The expiration date is separate for each manufacturer and only comes after an automaker sells 200,000 qualified vehicles. Tesla hit the milestone first in July 2018. As a result, there are no federal tax credits for Tesla now.

In the last quarter of 2018, GM became the second carmaker to sell 200,000 qualified plug-in vehicles. And like Tesla, all new electric vehicles from GM no longer have the federal tax incentive.

Nissan is next in line for a credit phaseout, but Edmunds analysts say that unless sales for the Leaf pick up significantly, it’s unlikely Nissan will reach the threshold in 2022. All other makers are trailing far behind in plug-in car sales.

How Can I Claim The Credit

How Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Works

The only way to qualify for the EV credit is if you have a tax liability. That means that it only applies if you owe any federal taxes from your income when it’s time to file.

If your liability is $7,500, the full credit applies. If the liability is $2,000, for example, that’s what the credit covers.

At tax time, you want to look for Form 8936, or the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit form.

The credit is nonrefundable, so no leftover money will be added to your tax refund.

The tax credit does not reduce the price of the EV you purchase nor does it put money toward any auto loan that you may take out to purchase the vehicle.

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How Do You Claim The Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

To claim this credit, you must include IRS form 8936 with your tax return. If your car is solely for personal use, the form is simple, mostly requiring basic car identification information. If you were eligible for, but did not claim, your tax credit within the last three years, you may be able to fix that by filing an amended tax return for the year you purchased your vehicle.

Is It $7500 Or Nothing

When an automaker has reached its allocation of tax credits, buyer 200,001 and beyond aren’t completely out of luck. The incentives work by allowing a gradual downgrade in the amount of incentive offered to buyers.

That means that the amount of credit available is reduced by 50 percent for the next two quarters following the automaker’s 200,000 top out point, to a maximum of $3,750. In the two quarters after that, the credit is a maximum of $1,875, or 25 percent of the original credit. After those four quarters, that manufacturer’s vehicles fall out of eligibility.

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Build Back Better Structure

Unlike the current EV tax credit, Build Back Better does not offer a base $7,500 credit for pure electrics. Instead, it provides a $4,000 credit, and an additional $3,500 if the battery pack exceeds 40kWh. If the car was made with at least 50% American components and U.S. battery packs, an additional $500 would be added to your credit. Moreover, if the vehicle was made by a unionized automaker, like GM or Ford, the IRS would append $4,500 more. Finally, range extenders are permitted if the fuel tank is less than 2.5 gallons.

Suppose your EV was constructed with United States-based components, included a battery of over 40kWh, and built by a unionized OEM. In that case, you could claim up to $12,500 as a refundable credit.

Everything mentioned above will run on a ten-year timeline, with the first five years including every EV, and the last five only for U.S.-made electrics.

Another feature of Build Back Better is the income and vehicle price caps. If an individual makes more than $250,000 a year, he or she will not be able to claim a credit. Furthermore, joint filers making more than $500,000 wont be able to claim the credit either.

As for the vehicle price caps, an electric sedan priced above $55,000 isnt applicable for the credit. SUVs, vans, and trucks above $80,000 cannot qualify either.

Who Gets The Ev Tax Credit

How the $7,500 EV Tax Credit works… and doesn’t work– plus PA rebates!

When you lease a new EV the tax credit still applies, but since it stays with the original owner, some OEMs may not pass on the credit when you lease. Instead, they can keep the credit, like Ford is doing with the latest Mustang Mach-E, which qualifies for a full $7,500 credit.

Other EVs like the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 don’t pass along the tax credit on leases either. This may affect the lease price of certain EVs, since some manufacturers do choose to pass on the savings, like VW which offers a $7,500 lease bonus on the ID.4 crossover.

Alternatively, balloon financing offers a lease-like payment with the chance to take advantage of the tax credit. For example, the Ford Mach-E doesn’t offer the tax credit to lessees but does feature the chance to save when choosing a financing option called Ford Options Plan.

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What Is An Ev Tax Credit

The electric vehicle tax credit is a financial incentive given by the federal government to encourage more people to buy EVs. Tax credits allow you to subtract a certain predetermined amount from the total income tax you owe at the end of a financial year. Since 2010, the US government has incentivized new electric vehicle purchases with a tax credit of up to $7,500.

How Does The Electric Car Tax Credit Work With Regard To When Incentives End

The federal government is phasing out the availability of EV tax credits as sales pick up nationwide. This is why General Motors and Tesla vehicles are now excluded from the incentive, as they have already sold their allowed quota. The reasoning behind this is as sales increase and new technology is added, the price of EVs will come down, thus there will no longer be a need for the government to supply subsidies. The initial passage of the legislation was to increase cost competitiveness, and provide incentives to get people driving EVs as quickly as possible while not having to worry about their then-prohibitive cost.

There is no set expiration date for the tax credit program but automakers become excluded once they have sold 200,000 vehicles that had qualified under the tax credit. Tesla was the first automaker in the United States to reach that threshold, back in 2018.

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Is The Electric Car Tax Credit Worth It

Youll have to decide for yourself whether or not the tax credit is enough of an incentive to make it worth buying a new electric vehicle. Lower-income earners who wouldnt get the full credit amount may be better off buying a used EV or looking for a state rebate program instead.

Compare EVs Near You

But remember, the sticker price isnt the only number to factor in when comparing the cost of an electric vehicle. Electric cars also have lower fuel and maintenance costs, and can make up for their higher purchase price in just a few years.

Whichever electric car you choose, do your research to make sure that you maximize all of the electric vehicle tax credits and rebates available in your state.

Nick Versaw

Rules For Ev Incentives

How Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Works

Here are some conditions that you must know:

  • As mentioned earlier, the credit goes to the manufacturer offering the lease, as the manufacturer is the cars actual owner. This way, the manufacturer can provide your car at a lower monthly payment.
  • The grey area of the federal tax is a buyer to resell cant get the federal tax benefit.
  • Plug-in and battery-electric vehicles should be manufactured with quality to become eligible for a $7500 tax benefit.
  • The car must be primary used in the United States.

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Which Models Are Eligible

The credit applies to fully electric cars along with plug-in hybrid EVs , which differ from normal hybrids in that they have bigger batteries that you replenish by hooking up to a charger. PHEVs can travel some distance using electricity alone, while other hybrids can’t.

The US Department of Energy keeps a running list of eligible models on its website. The credit only applies to the first 200,000 plug-in vehicles each manufacturer sells in the US, so both Tesla and General Motors are out of the picture.

Nissan, Toyota, and Ford will probably be next to cross the 200,000-EV threshold.

How Do You Know If You Qualify

Itâs easy to find out if youâre eligible to file for the electric car tax rebate. There are 2 main criteria:

  • You bought the car in 2010 or later
  • Youâre the original owner of a qualified plug-in vehicle

If you want the full tax credit, youâll also need to be one of the first 200,000 or so buyers of your selected manufacturerâs electric vehicle. But even if you donât act that fast, you can still qualify for a partial credit .

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How Does The Federal Electric Car Tax Credit Work

This is a tax credit. As such, the government will apply it to your taxes at the very end.

When youre done filling in all of your information, youll get a number. Either youll owe money to the government, or theyll owe you money.

After considering that number, the government will take your electric car tax credit into account. Most are up to $7,500, so well use this as an example.

Remember, this amount is up to for a reason. The government will not give you any money back on the credit.

So, youll break even on your taxes if you owe the government $7,500 or less on your taxes. If you owe more, youll owe the government $7,500 less than you would have. If the government owes you, you will not get reimbursement for the electric car tax credit because they will not add the amount onto a positive number.

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