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Many Dealers Aren’t Offering The Point-Of-Sale Rebate, May Miss Key Deadline For 2023 Sales – Renewable Energy

Many Dealers Aren’t Offering The Point-Of-Sale Rebate, May Miss Key Deadline For 2023 Sales

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Some recent Reddit posts show us that there are some problems at used and new auto dealers. Not only are many of them not participating in the transferrable tax credit program that gives people $7500 off the cars, but some of them may miss a key deadline for people who bought an EV in 2023 to get their credits without hassles.

Customers Are Having A Tough Time Finding A Properly Discounted Bolt or Used EV

According to Reddit posts like this one, people are having a tough time finding dealers who are ready to accept tax credit transfers, which should give EV buyers $3750 or $7500 off eligible vehicles. These vehicles are:

  • Chevy Bolt EV
  • Chevy Bolt EUV
  • F-150 Lighting Standard Range
  • F-150 Lightning Extended Range
  • Several flavors of the Tesla Model 3, Model X, and Model Y
  • Chrysler Pacifica PHEV

Several EVs and PHEVs don’t qualify for the full credit, but still qualify for half under current rules/laws:

  • Ford Escape PHEV
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler 4xe models
  • Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring
  • Rivian Vehicles (R1S and R1T)

But, to get that amount take off the price of the vehicle at the dealer, the dealer must participate in the program and agree to accept your tax credit as their own. Then, the dealer needs to give you that money off the price of the car and not jack the price up with other games.

If a dealer doesn’t participate, you can’t get the money back until the next tax season, and it’s only a discount on taxes (assuming you even owe that much) and not money in your pocket. This means paying more up front, having a higher payment, etc.

This is a pretty big disappointment for Chevy Bolt EV and EUV buyers. Bolts went out of production during the last days of 2023, so people who want one need to get down to a dealer and find one that’s left before they run out for good. The vehicle is supposed to come back in a couple of years with some improvements, but probably won’t be available for as cheap as it is today.

With prices starting at around $26k and the full $7500 off, this puts new Bolts below $20,000 and new EUVs at just over $20,000, which is a screaming deal for a new EV, even if there are some downsides.

Fortunately some buyers are saying that GM dealers are ahead of most others because the corporate headquarters hounded them at the tail end of 2023 and got most of them to sign up for the tax credit transfer program. But, not all did.

The bigger hassle at this point seems to be qualifying for the $4000 used EV rebate, which can make for some pretty compelling deals, too. Some people are able to use the program to do straight-up trades from a paid-off gas vehicle to an EV without paying a dime, while others end up paying little or having only a tiny payment.

A Key Deadline Looms, & Some Dealers Might Miss It

Another Reddit post shows us that dealers may be struggling to meet a January 31 deadline to report 2023 EV sales, and this could make it hard for some car buyers to get their tax credit.

From IRS instructions for dealers:

Q13. Dealers/sellers must provide information about 2023 sales to the IRS by January 15, 2024. Should dealers/sellers submit time-of-sale reports for 2023 sales through IRS Energy Credits Online? (updated January 9, 2024)

A. No. Revenue Procedure 2022-42PDF, Section 6.03 provides that sellers must file reports within fifteen days after the end of the calendar year (i.e., January 15, 2024). The IRS is extending the due date sellers have to provide these reports until January 31, 2024. As a result, for vehicles placed in service in calendar year 2023, you must submit required information about a qualifying clean vehicle sale to the IRS by January 31, 2024.

Submit copies of your seller reports provided to eligible buyers via email to the following email address: irs.clean.vehicles.seller.reporting@irs.gov

The IRS preferred format for these submissions is an excel spreadsheet containing all required data from all seller reports a seller or dealer prepared in calendar year 2023.

Sellers or dealers may also submit individual seller report copies of the Form 15400 or equivalent forms containing all required data the seller/dealer used in calendar year 2023. Sellers and dealers that used reasonable alternatives to Form 15400 in providing the required seller reports to buyers do not need to prepare the information in the Form 15400 format.

If that sounds like a bunch of gobbledygook, it is, and it’s confusing dealers. There also seems to be some concern over e-mailing a bunch of social security numbers in a spreadsheet, what format it should be in for the IRS to digest it, and whether that’s a good idea. Some dealers are telling customers that they need a special form, while others are saying you can’t claim the tax credit without a new form.

So, many people are rightfully worried that they’ll be up the creek for that tax credit if the dealer gets something wrong. Or, worse, people fear an audit that doesn’t go well. Nobody wants any of that mess.

This Should Get Better

For people who aren’t in a rush to buy a car, this isn’t a big deal dealers will eventually see the value in these programs and figure out how to work all of the kinks out. Those that don’t will end up losing sales to other dealers that do. So, if you’re buying a car that’s going to be available all year, patience is definitely a virtue.

But, if you’re trying to get a screaming deal on the remaining Bolt inventory or Bolts in transit, this is going to present a challenge. That deal is going to be gone within weeks as people get down there and grab the last of them (assuming it’s the right car for them, of course). In that case, you might need to call around and hound dealers a bit to make sure they get this right ASAP.

Either way, don’t let the rush to buy get you into a bad situation with dealers.

Featured image by Jennifer Sensiba


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