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First plug-in electric vehicle manufacturer crosses 200,000 sold threshold; Tax credit for eligible consumers begins phase down on Jan. 1

The IRS announced that Tesla, Inc. has sold more than 200,000 vehicles eligible for the plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit during the third quarter of 2018. This triggers a phase out of the tax credit available for purchasers of new Tesla plug-in electric vehicles beginning Jan. 1, 2019, making the purchase or a Tesla vehicle more expensive. This in turn in part prompted Tesla’s Elon Muck to slash Tesla’s workforce and insist on tighter expenses controls, so Tesla could lower the price of its vehicles…will Tesla make it to 2020?

The IRS announced today that Tesla, Inc. has sold more than 200,000 vehicles eligible for the plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit during the third quarter of 2018.This triggers a phase out of the tax credit available for purchasers of new Tesla plug-in electric vehicles beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

Qualifying vehicles by the manufacturer are eligible for a $7,500 credit if acquired before Jan. 1, 2019. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the credit will be $3,750 for Tesla’s eligible vehicles. On July 1, 2019, the credit will be reduced to $1,875 for the remainder of the year. After Dec. 31, 2019, no credit will be available.

The plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit was enacted in the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 and subsequently modified in later law. It provides a credit for eligible passenger vehicles and light trucks. By law, five quarters after reaching the sales threshold, the credit ends for the manufacturer. Tesla Inc.’s vehicles are eligible for some portion of a credit until Jan. 1, 2020.

Notice 2018-96 details the phase-out. More information on plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit can be found on IRS.gov. The amounts of the credit for a specific vehicle can also be found at IRS.gov.

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