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IRS Announces Tax Credits For Toyota Prius

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Toyota Prius

IRS Announces Tax Credits For Toyota Prius

Richard A. Chapo
June 19, 2006

The Toyota Prius is the vehicle that started the entire hybrid vehicle craze. It continues to dominate the market and the IRS has announced the tax credits for this year.

IRS Announces Tax Credits For Toyota Prius

In an effort to promote energy efficiency, the federal government has instituted an energy program that provides financial rewards for energy efficient products. The government realizes prodding us with words is not going to work. As such, it has decided to issue tax credits to motivate us to conform our activities to the desired goal. In this case, reducing our oil dependency is the key.

The Toyota Prius was the first mass production hybrid vehicle. It was such a hit that Toyota could not come close to filling orders the first few years. This is still the case to some extent, a reflection of our rising environmental consciousness and high gas prices. The tax credit you get with a purchase provides another reason to buy this peppy little vehicle.

The IRS issues tax credit amounts for hybrid cars that meet its standards. Various manufactures have been approved including Ford, Lexus, Honda, Mercury and, of course, Toyota. In this case, the tax credit is $3,150. You must purchase the car new from a dealer to qualify for the credit and the sooner, the better. The tax credit is graduated, which means it gets reduced as more cars are sold through the year. The full credit is only available through the quarter of the fiscal calendar of the year after which Toyota sells the 60,000 car. If you buy in the following two fiscal quarters, you can only claim half of the tax credit. The subsequent two quarters see a reduction to 25 percent of the tax credit. After that, you cannot claim any of the credit.

It is important to understand the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction. A tax deduction is taken from your adjusted gross income, which helps a bit. A tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction of the amount of tax you owe. In this case, the tax credit could be used to reduce a 10,000 tax bill by $3,150 to $6,850. That is a huge savings any way you cut it.

Obviously, hybrid vehicles are hot sellers and make sense on a lot of fronts given outrageous gas prices. The tax credits that come with each purchase certainly adds to their popularity.

Richard A. Chapo is with BusinessTaxRecovery.com - providing information on tax credits.

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