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Lets discuss TX 152.090 sales tax exemption

Discussion in 'Texas' started by barbja, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. barbja

    barbja Member

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    Can we do some brainstorming on the use of the Texas 152.090 sales tax exemption? I've seen it mentioned on this forum. There's some anececdotal evidence that it may not work. And there's speculation that the lawyer that will do the registration for you in Harris County may be using this statute to successfully get public and private exemptions using this. No one is talking though.

    Here it is:
    =============
    (a) In this section, "hydrogen-powered motor vehicle" means a vehicle that meets the Phase II standards established by the California Air Resources Board as of September 1, 2007, for an ultra low-emission vehicle II or stricter Phase II emission standards established by that board and:

    (1) is hydrogen power capable and has a fuel economy rating of at least 45 miles per gallon; or

    (2) is fully hydrogen-powered.
    =============

    So how could we shoehorn a Tesla in there. I thought maybe something about the hydrocarbons in the LiOn battery, but that probably won't go (at least it starts with hydro)

    Then I thought: Isn't any car that is driven by an electric motor technically hydrogen power capable?

    After reading a lot of articles about the difference between EV and hydro, they basically say that they're both electric vehicles with one powered by a battery and the other by hydrogen cells. So, although you can't run a Tesla from the factory on hydrogen, you could probably convert it to hydro if you really really wanted to.

    And, if you could convert it to hydro if you wanted to, doesn't that make it hydrogen power capable?

    Let's see if we can come up with a really good argument that someone could present with a straight face without too much effort.
     
  2. psychogenesis

    psychogenesis Member

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    Thanks Barbja for bringing this up.

    Some folks have been able to get the sales-tax exemption but I am not aware of what statute they used for this purpose.:confused: It would definitely help if we could get more conversation going on this front because I am sure if someone has been able to get an exemption, we could use that to our favor and request a sales-tax refund for those of us who already registered our cars paying ~6kUSD.
     
  3. schueppert

    schueppert Member

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    Barbja - I believe you are correct that this is the sales tax exemption that some may have claimed. And you are right that if this exemption applies to Model S then it would apply to any plug-in electric. It's not the most aggressive tax avoidance scheme I have ever seen, but it is aggressive.
     
  4. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    And how exactly do you 'claim' it. The $10 and hour person at the tax office is not going to have any clue as to 152.090 or ability to waive about $6K in taxes. Thoughts?
     
  5. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    I asserted in an earlier thread on this that "hydrogen capable" could be as simple as having a hydrogen fuel cell in the home.

    I would consider hiring an attorney to make the case for me. $1K to potentially save $6K doesn't seem that bad...
     
  6. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Think it will cost more that $1K to fight the govt :)
     
  7. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    The sun is hydrogen powered (fusion). If you have solar panels at home or work and you charge your car there, you've got a argument for the sales tax exemption.
     
  8. barbja

    barbja Member

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    Here's the Texas Use Tax Return form: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/01-156.pdf

    It has the phone number of the state comptroller's office to contact for assistance. Perhaps they can help with the proper process. I'm sure the person just taking the check at the window (or desk) would be mystified and we'd get an automatic no.

    Hey, I'd be willing to put some solar panels on my house if it came to that. I was thinking about it anyway.
     
  9. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Thanks for posting. So fill out form and take with you during registration, hand to them and say a prayer?
     
  10. q177onique

    q177onique Member

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  11. dmcohen12

    dmcohen12 New Member

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    Received Sales Tax Exemption on Model S

    Monday I went to pay the sales tax on my Tesla Model S at the Houston TX county clerks office downtown. Before I went to the window I said little prayer hoping that there is someway the private sale would count as a trade-in. The clerk at the window was new and had no idea what she was doing, so she went to talk to her boss and when she returned she told me that I do not have to pay sales tax on the Tesla. When I asked why she told me that it was because it is an electric vehicle and electric vehicles are tax-exempt.

    I posted the story on the Facebook Houston Tesla Club and it appears I am the only one who did not pay taxes on the the Tesla without having to work with a lawyer.

    I hope there is some way the Tesla owners in Texas can use my case to request a refund.
     
  12. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    I wish you would have gotten her supervisors name, so for the rest of us, we could give our tax office her contact info.

    Did you not have to fill out any tax exempt forms?

    I'm paying this week in Austin--we'll see.
     
  13. Amped_up

    Amped_up Member

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    Any updates to this? Taxes are due / are not due for EVs?
     
  14. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    My story echoes this. When I went to the county to pay in January, the woman at the counter told me the car was exempt from sales tax. I don't remember what statute she cited, but since I wasn't certain that jived with what I'd read, i asked her to ask her manager. She went away and came back with the same answer, no sales tax. Not willing to take no for an answer, and fearing I was getting punked by Exxon, I asked her to bring her manager to the front so I could speak with him. When he came forward, I explained that I didn't think the Tesla qualified based on what I'd read - He said I was incorrect, that whatever I had read applied to golf carts, and that (and he added volume here so several people around me could hear) 'Sir, that car is no golf cart".

    So I sauntered away and drove off in my $$ golf cart. That $6K is worth $36K today!
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    So if we were charged sales tax, how do we get it back? I got my car a year ago and they gladly charged tax so probably can't get it back.
     
  16. Tesla 940

    Tesla 940 Member

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    I find it a little ironic that TX is so "franchise" strong but no sales tax on EVs. Poetic justice for those backing the existing franchise laws.
     
  17. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Hang on, they are taxing 90% of the people. A FEW have reported no tax, but it's the classic, no one at the county tax offices really knows. I'm waiting on my registration papers from Tesla, and hope to go next week. Will report back--oh of course I'm going to do the assumptive, and tell them no tax is due and cite 152.090. Let's see what happens...
     
  18. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    Since it's been 3/4 of a year, i don't remember what I researched that led me to believe I should pay tax. I keep expecting that I'll get a letter from the county demanding the tax - maybe when I get the registration renewal. I am not trying to ditch the tax, but about all I could have done is throw a tantrum, cause a commotion, and chuck a check at them and walked out. I still keep thinking they were wrong.

    Not sure how those who have paid will get their $ back.
     
  19. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Don't try and give the State any more money if they don't ask! They say no, then great, there won't be any issues later as you've already registered it.
     
  20. dmcohen12

    dmcohen12 New Member

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    I would suggest having the Clerk contact the Mike SULLIVAN office at 1001 Preston. Here's a link to the website. There is no reason why all the Teslas in Texas should not be tax-exempt and hope that you can request a tax refund if you did pay the 6.25% tax on your Tesla.

    If there is any additional information I can provide to help anyone with their tax refund or if they're about to purchase, please let me know.

    Harris County Tax Office
     

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