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Being led astray by TurboTax?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Sprandt23, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Sprandt23

    Sprandt23 Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    St. Louis
    I bought a 2015 CPO 85D in 2017, and I was under the impression that I was not eligible for the tax credit. However, when working through the software, I got to the section about EV purchase - I entered the vehicle info (including year, full VIN etc) and it said I was eligible. I do know it was originally a lease vehicle, but I thought that didn't matter. I was not planning on utilizing the credit, but just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something?

    Alternatively, what about credit for installing the HPWC at the residence, I hear that credit has been reinstated?
  2. Travis Denardo

    Travis Denardo VTHokie195

    Feb 12, 2016
    Fairfax Station, VA
    It’s a trap!

    The same thing happened to me on my CPO last year. TurboTax gave bad guidance in regards to that. You’re not eligible, as you suspect.

    I think the HPWC and related expenses to EV charging are at the state level. I received those deductions in Virginia, but not on my federal.
  3. barjohn

    barjohn Member

    Sep 23, 2017
    Riverside, CA
    No, there is a HPWC credit for 2017 and it is 30% of the total installation cost. However, there are qualifications that can cost you the credit. Turbotax now has the form in its most recent update. It is called form 8911 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit.
  4. swaltner

    swaltner Active Member

    Oct 13, 2012
    Kansas, USA
    #4 swaltner, Mar 7, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
    I looked on my TurboTax session that I had open. It says several times that this is for new vehicles.

    On the "Energy-Efficient Vehicles" intro page, it starts with "If you bought a plug-in hybrid... we can help you claim a credit. More information about this credit" The more information help screen states "You must be the original owner of the vehicle. Used vehicles do not qualify." (bold from their text)

    On the same screen next to the button that you select stating "Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle ... for example: ... Tesla Model S", There is a "Learn More" link. This help page states Credit Requirements "You must be the original owner of the vehicle. If the vehicle is leased, only the Lessor can claim the credit."

    You select that button and continue on, selecting 2015 as the model year for the vehicle. On the screen that you enter your vehicle details like the VIN and purchase date, it once again states "Note: To qualify for the credit, you have to be the original owner of the vehicle (meaning you bought the vehicle new, not used.)" at the top of the screen in the middle of the instructions for that page.

    The TurboTax software stated a few times along the way that this credit is only to be claimed for new vehicle purchases. You simply didn't pay attention to the help that was provided.

    For your other question, the credit for installing an EV charging station is the next section in the deductions after Energy-Efficient Vehicles. It's labeled "Energy-Efficient Vehicle Charging Station" under the Cars and Other Things You Own section of the Deductions & Credits and helps you complete the form mentioned in one of the previous replies.
    • Like x 1
  5. cpa

    cpa Active Member

    May 17, 2014
    Central Valley
    No, TurboTax did not lead you astray. I have no experience whatsoever with that product. I do have 30+ years' experience talking to people, asking the right questions, and making decisions.

    In my opinion, the issue has to do more with the questions and the phrasing of the questions that TurboTax uses to lead their customers to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    It seems to me a better question would have been, "Did you purchase a NEW plug-in electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle during the year?" If you answer yes, then the next question would more or less confirm your first response, "Are you the original owner of this vehicle?"

    Unlike most preparers, computer programs do not ask for corroboration to support positions taken on tax returns.

    Based upon other anecdotal evidence, many of the questions that TurboTax asks seem to be designed by those who do not interview people for a living and who know the income tax business inside and out. And TurboTax cannot ferret out information bias that is so prevalent in the exciting world of income taxes.

    I applaud you in that you sought out additional information to confirm or deny the fact that you were entitled to the BEV tax credit.

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