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How tax credit for electric cars works

Many people are enticed by a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles, so we asked Internal Revenue Service tax expert Jesse Weller how this works.

The credit for this type of vehicle originally was to expire in 2014 but was made permanent by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The maximum credit allowed for a vehicle bought after 2009 is $7,500. As of today, nine manufacturers of this type of vehicle have received IRS acknowledgment of their eligibility for the credit, and the amount that qualifies.

The list of qualified plug-in electric vehicles is on the IRS website at (Search under “electric.”)

Taxpayers generally may rely on the vehicle manufacturer’s certification that a specific make, model and year qualifies for the credit and the amount that can be claimed. To be eligible to claim the credit, a taxpayer must:



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