Life With The Leaf: Missing Out On The Federal Tax Credit
One of the first big lessons I learned as an electric car early adopter didn't happen out on the road but rather in my tax guy’s office. The lesson was this: if you are going to buy a clean car vehicle, plan ahead.
Like many folks, I was counting on a number of tax credits and rebates to help me afford the Nissan Leaf. I have already received the state of California’s 2,500 dollar rebate (it took a little over two months). Also, Nissan sent me a $700 rebate to pay me back for having a fast charging port installed on my Leaf. Although there are no fast chargers out there yet, I guess it’s going to come in handy one day. But what I might not get is the federal tax credit.
I thought the clean car federal tax credit of $7,500 for EVs was like the home buyers' credit from last year or like California’s solar panel credit — but it is not a refund credit. You have to set it up so you owe the federal government an amount, then they will take if off. I didn’t do that so after an early December tax appointment I rushed to increase my exemptions for my last two paychecks of the year. I scrambled to see where I could get some other income. Anyway, I am probably not going to even get half the credit which makes my Leaf much more expensive than I originally planned for. I blame myself for not researching this but it’s all a bit confusing. I also had not planned ahead on a home charger. I had PG&E come out to do a required EV inspection but I did not buy a charger before I bought the car. Thus my new shiny Leaf sat in my driveway, unused, for a few weeks.
Monday I’ll explain how I picked my home charger and how I got it and the installation for free.
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