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How my stupidity is costing me the CO $5k tax credit

mj3ngr

Member
Dec 7, 2019
36
17
Westminster, CO
I haven't lost it yet, but I feel as if I'm sinking lower and lower in bureaucratic quick sand.

Today I received a letter from the Colorado Department of Revenue saying that my appeal to the rejection of the Innovative Motor Vehicle Credit ($5,000) was rejected.

I suppose this all started when I took delivery of my P3D- in mid-December. I received a package of paperwork in the mail just a few days into the new year that turns out was the title application, and I could have taken that to the DMV the day I received it, paid the taxes, got my plates and registration which is needed for the Colorado tax credit. But no, I looked through it and figured it was the standard bundle of paperwork you would normally receive from a dealership when buying a car. A bit unfortunately (one lemon and one rear-ended/totaled car) I ended up buying cars from dealerships 3 times in the past 4 years, and each time, I went home with a stack of paperwork that I never looked at again, and a few weeks after purchase, I received a post card in the mail that was my indication that it's time to go to the DMV.

So I waited on that post card. My temporary tags were set to expire on February 14, and in the first two weeks of February I started wondering, but a couple of fellow Tesla owners said sometimes Tesla is slow, and they were especially slow after a record quarter, lots of paperwork for them to do. Of course I also know the DMV can be slow sometimes, and I heard time after time that temp tags are good until at least a month later (I heard everything from "the end of the next month" to "60 days" to "30 days" to "it only really matters if you get pulled over with expired tags, and even then it's only a $75 fine" so I wasn't too worried.

Until I filed my taxes towards the end of March (March 20 I think?). It was then that I realized I needed the registration in order to prove to Colorado that this car is registered in Colorado. I then started scrambling to call everyone I could to figure out what's going on, why am I not getting this post card? I called the DMV, and they said that they aren't backlogged, so if they had the paperwork it would have been processed. They even checked the VIN for me and said they haven't received any paperwork. I don't know how to call Tesla, so I called Chase (my lender) and waited on the phone for 3 hours only to find out "nope we don't know anything about your title". That might have been helpful though, because I think that call might have clued Chase into the fact that they still don't have a title for my car. They eventually contacted Tesla threatening to increase my interest rate if they don't get the title soon, so Tesla's DMV office contacted me to give me that news. That's when I discovered I had been holding on to a title application for nearly 4 months now.

That was on March 25. On March 26 when I tried to go to the DMV, I discovered that they were closed. That's the day stay-at-home orders went into effect in most of Colorado. I did start an email thread with them to see if I could mail it in or something, but they wouldn't accept that and instead gave me a letter exempting me from the expiration date on my temporary tags. I told that to Tesla's DMV department, and they discovered that my county's DMV was still accepting mail-ins from dealers, so they figured out the taxes, and I was to mail the packet and a check to them. They even gave me a fedex label to do so, which was very helpful! I got an estimate of 4-6 weeks being how long the DMV might take to process this.

For reasons, my mail goes to my parents house whom I don't live with. And for stay-at-home reasons I didn't really venture over to visit them, so when I received a letter back from the DMV, it sat where the rest of my mail sits at my parents house for a couple of weeks before I got it. And it said that I overpaid taxes so they rejected my title application. And they sent the packet (and I assume the check? I don't know where that check is to this day :/ ) back to Tesla. The letter I got only said I overpaid, but apparently with the packet, Tesla also got the correct amount, so they relayed that to me, and I sent them another check for the correct amount. I'm presently waiting on the results of that.

Parallel to trying to get my car titled and registered, I'm also trying to go through the appeal process with the Department of Revenue. When I got the credit rejection, they said I had 30 days to start an appeal so I did. I was somewhat afraid that if I didn't I would lose out on the credit forever. Well I sent an appeal with a scanned copy of the packet, my entire email conversation with the DMV, and Tesla, and a conversation where I specifically asked the DMV if it's okay that I wasn't able to register my car yet, to which they replied "some DMVs are accepting mail-ins" and "you have until July 15 to file your taxes, and can get an extension until October 15" (not helpful, because I already filed my taxes). So today I received the rejection to that appeal.

The next step is to get a hearing with the Executive Director at the Department of Revenue. I have to submit a request in writing which at this point feels like a slim hope. It's still going to get reviewed and probably rejected because they are probably too busy with all sorts of other stuff going on with delayed tax filing deadlines and what not. After all, what incentive do they have to listen to me complain about losing out on $5k? The incentive is to get people to buy the cars which I already did (and besides all, I was already an EV driver before the Tesla)

Next week, I'll have had my car for 6 months. In that time, I've put 6,000 miles on it, and it has been running the entire time with temporary tags that expire February 14, and is presently untitled, and it seems I have only a slim chance of saving my Colorado tax credit.

I had 0 issues getting the $1,875 federal tax credit, other than the fact that the IRS was running way behind this year and it took over 2 months to get it after I filed.
 

boaterva

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,589
3,829
Northern Virginia, USA
Interesting, but why did Tesla send you all this after the fact? When I purchased both my cars (in Virginia), all paperwork was done in advance/at delivery, with restricted POA and Tesla put on temp tags and mailed permanent ones later with the title.

Why was all this after you had taken delivery, messing you up?
 

jimmym1981

Member
Oct 15, 2019
246
165
Chicago
I get it and it sucks. But basically, you registered your car at your parents house, where you don’t check the mail and then you ignore the original corespondents that came with the car. The past situations suck for sure, but in the end, the state tried all they could to help you out. Hopefully it ends up in your favor and I appreciate you sharing your frustrations on the forum.
 
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Matsayz

Active Member
Jul 6, 2019
1,195
972
Las Vegas
Details are great, but is there a TLDR version?

Tesla of Colorado gave him his paperwork to file and he didn’t look it over, 6 months later and he’s going to lose the $5K Colorado hands out if you buy & register an EV in the State (currently $4K I think, it drops $1K a year).

Tesla in Colorado is a bunch of morons. I had a fun time too just getting them to give me paperwork to sign on the day of pickup last year in July. Got my $5K though!... and spent it promptly!
 
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user212_nr

Active Member
Aug 26, 2019
1,407
875
US
Tesla in Colorado is a bunch of morons. I had a fun time too just getting them to give me paperwork to sign on the day of pickup last year in July. Got my $5K though!... and spent it promptly!

Don't think that they are competent in any state. I had a hard time with my CT refund.

They never mentioned the refund, had to ask about it myself. There was a short deadline and they had to apply for it. They tell me "I'll do it soon, let you know" then "I'll do it today".

Finally after 4 days of promising and not doing it, they send me this:

"Our team processes thousands of vehicles and works directly with the state of Connecticut. Please allow us to do the necessary steps to register the car and get it eligible for the CHEAPR rebate. If you do not receive the check during the month of September, we will make the correct steps to getting that righted."

I thought it was 10 days from sale, but actually it was 10 days from registration. None of them were able to tell me that. No one told me what their process was for getting plates, etc, etc. Just ignores emails, calls, voicemails, or says whatever they think will move things along.
 

mj3ngr

Member
Dec 7, 2019
36
17
Westminster, CO
Thanks for the best wishes and all. The support here is amazing :)

I get it and it sucks. But basically, you registered your car at your parents house, where you don’t check the mail and then you ignore the original corespondents that came with the car. The past situations suck for sure, but in the end, the state tried all they could to help you out. Hopefully it ends up in your favor and I appreciate you sharing your frustrations on the forum.

Completely agree this is entirely my fault. I've been pretty lucky to have the help from Tesla's DMV department; without that I'd be screwed.

I still feel a bit optimistic that there may still be a chance that this can get corrected, but it's definitely going to be an uphill battle. Even getting plates will be a significant victory that I can be happy about :D

A couple of 'morals of the story': I should have checked the paperwork more closely and made sure I understood what it all was; there weren't that many pieces and one even says "Application for Title" (granted I thought maybe that was a carbon copy or something)! Also, I should have been more proactive, even if I thought I had more time. Especially once Feb 14 hit, I should have been doing everything I could even two weeks before that to figure it out even if that meant waiting in line at the DMV.
 
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acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,840
1,836
Richland, WA
It wasn’t terribly clear on mine either here in Washington state. I’m almost positive my sales guy said the paperwork would be FedEx to me (I did 3rd party transport delivery) and instead there was a FedEx envelope in the car with some paperwork. I looked over some of it and it looked like stuff I took care over the Internet with them MVPA etc. I stopped looking through it and then decided to wait for the packet to show up from Tesla. Well after a few days I decided to take the paperwork that was in the car down to my local DMV to ask what everything it was, sure enough it was the paperwork I needed to send back to Tesla! Thankfully I got it taken care of before my temp tag expired and got my plates and everything, but Tesla really needs an internal tracking system of all the paperwork. That way if something like this happens after four or five days Tesla will reach out to you and ask if you’re having trouble filling something out, etc.

I think the culture there is very young and forward thinking with technology and “disruptive sales methods”, but they need to hire some old school project mangers that can design some management systems to put in place for this kind of stuff.


(That said, previous cars have always had a packet of “ads” for OnStar and data services and XM Radio and stuff they try to sell you and I always ignored that, so it has kinda trained us to forget the additional paperwork...)
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,162
711
az
Tesla of Colorado gave him his paperwork to file and he didn’t look it over, 6 months later and he’s going to lose the $5K Colorado hands out if you buy & register an EV in the State (currently $4K I think, it drops $1K a year).

Tesla in Colorado is a bunch of morons. I had a fun time too just getting them to give me paperwork to sign on the day of pickup last year in July. Got my $5K though!... and spent it promptly!

Tesla in general is paperwork challenged. I took delivery 6/30/19. They didn't file registration till July. They can't give me any paperwork saying I took delivery so I'm going to go with order date if audited by IRS
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,755
16,972
New Mexico
IIRC, you have to submit a copy of the car title and the CO registration to the tax authorities, along with the relevant tax forms. You may need to submit an amended tax return, but ask first.
 

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