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Claiming the Federal Tax Credit without "living in USA"

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by spentan, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. spentan

    spentan Active Member

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    Hi there,

    Obviously I will consult a CPA before I do this, but I would like your comments.

    I am flying to USA in Jan 2013. I will be flying in on a Visa Waiver, (as I am Australian).

    I would like to buy a Tesla Model S. and use it for the 90 days that I am there. In the meantime, I have a few active Job Applications. (So that I can move to USA on an E-3 Visa (work permit specifically for Aussies)).

    With the Federal Tax Credit, A Tesla Salesman had advised that even if I don't "pay" $7500 in tax, I will get a cheque for the remainder.

    I guess the main question is, Can I get the $7500, provided that I make no money in USA, and as a foreigner (or a tourist)?

    If anyone knows, can they advise? Cheers
     
  2. David Rhee

    David Rhee Member

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    Short answer is no. You need to file a federal income tax return to receive a tax credit. And if you have less than $7500 tax liability, you won't get the full $7500 either... You receive only up to the amount of tax owed.
     
  3. skdave

    skdave Member

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    In this country anything is possible. If our government is stupid enough to write you a check take it and run like hell.

    Really my answer is "no chance".
     
  4. spentan

    spentan Active Member

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    Really, ok, that's good to know.

    lol

    Other question is this. If I purchase it in January 2014. Then I get a job in October 2014 (as an example), and make enough to pay $7500 in tax,

    I presume at that point, when you're filing for your return in 2015, you'd be able to claim it?

    Thanks for the comments btw. Considering I could get a 2012 Jag XJ L for about $60k, I'm thinking of maybe just getting that to fart around in while I'm waiting for the job :p
     
  5. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Yep, that's right. See, you don't even live here and you already know more about the tax credit than the Tesla sales rep.
     
  6. MrPinrel

    MrPinrel Member

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    Spentan I am on a similar situation to yours, moved to the US late this year and buying a Tesla which is going to be delivered in December. I am not a tax person but the advice I have been given is:

    If you spend 180 days or more in a given tax year in the US and have US sourced income then you have to file taxes as a US resident (regardless of visa status) and you are taxed on worldwide income. If you fall below the 180 days the you file as a non-resident which limits the amount of deductions you can take and only taxes you on US sourced income.

    I did some looking and it appears that the electric car credit is available to both resident and non-resident filers, although I am not 100% sure on this.

    So assuming that I am correct then if you do move in October you would have to file taxes and would be able to claim the credit.

    I would recommend that you confirm this with a tax professional since I am not one. Others on the forum may be able to confirm the above. I do have a handy brochure on US tax implications of moving to the US if you PM me I am happy to share.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. David Rhee

    David Rhee Member

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    Definitely no check from the IRS. :) And it's not as generous as people think it is. The tax credit is discounted against other tax credits such as education credit, child tax credit, etc... and if you owe a self-employment tax, the tax credit cannot be applied to that either
     
  8. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    I know I'm being pedantic, here, but people get refund checks all the time. If you paid $10,000 in payroll deductions or estimated taxes over year, and then you calculate your taxes are $2,500 after tax credit, you get a check (or more often an electronic deposit) for $7,500. But of course, you can't get back more than your paid.
     
  9. spentan

    spentan Active Member

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    Thanks for all the responses.

    I've formed the conclusion that basically suggests, that if I am a foreigner, and I buy the Model S, I'd have to have paid $7500 in Federal Tax in order to claim the credit.

    Within the first 3-6 months, even after getting a job, I plan to stay at my uncle's place until I'm ready to rent or buy my own. Issues with charging start to arise, as they don't have a free space in their garage, and I don't want to impose (too much).

    I think, once I have a job, and I'm renting/living in my own place, then I can look into getting the Model S. By which time, I'm sure they will have added a lot more features as well (I'd miss Adaptive Cruise Control most of all).
     
  10. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Mod Note: couple of posts went to snippiness.
     

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