IRA EV tax credits winning over more auto dealers in 2024

According to the United States (US) Treasury Department, more auto dealers are signing up for the point-of-sale electric vehicle tax credit. 

In November 2023, the US Treasury announced that car dealers would receive direct tax credit payments, enabling them to offer customers immediate rebates at the point of sale. The Biden administration believes the initiative will help car dealers grow their business.

“Starting January 1, 2024, consumers will be able to choose to transfer their new clean vehicle credit of up to $7,500 and their previously owned clean vehicle credit of up to $4,000 to a registered car dealer. This provision of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will effectively lower the vehicle’s purchase price by providing consumers with an upfront down payment on their clean vehicle at the point of sale rather than having to wait to claim their credit on their tax return the next year. Only vehicles purchased under the consumer clean vehicle credits are eligible for this benefit,” announced the US Department of Treasury.

In early December 2023, around 7,000 auto dealers signed up for the point-of-sale electric vehicle tax credit. Before the end of December 2023, 400 more dealerships signed up, increasing the number to 7,400. More than 1,000 auto dealers signed up for the initiative after it took effect on January 1, 2024. By Friday, January 5, 2024, the US Treasury reported over 8,700 dealers joined the point-of-sale electric vehicle tax credit initiative, reported The Hill.

The US Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) opened the IRS Energy Credits Online (ECO) portal to help dealerships implement the immediate rebate initiative and receive direct tax credit payments faster. Auto dealers will have a deadline of three days from the time of sale to submit a time-of-sale report. As of this writing, however, the IRS has extended the deadline for time-of-sale reports until January 16, 2024, to allow dealers to get used to the IRS ECO portal. 

Interestingly enough, around the same time, the Biden administration rolled out its direct tax credit payments plan to auto dealers, over 3,000 dealerships signed a letter addressed to President Biden telling him that “enthusiasm has stalled” for electric vehicles.

“Last year, there was a lot of hope and hype about EVs. Early adopters formed an initial line and were ready to buy these vehicles as soon as we had them to sell. But that enthusiasm has stalled. Today, the supply of unsold BEVs is surging, as they are not selling nearly as fast as they are arriving at our dealerships — even with deep price cuts, manufacturer incentives, and generous government incentives,” said the letter.

Despite the letter’s words, auto dealers still seem willing to sell electric vehicles. The direct tax credit payments plan appears to have swayed some dealerships to keep selling electric cars, as it does address one of the main consumer concerns mentioned in the letter. In the letter to President Biden, dealerships claimed consumers thought EVs were not affordable

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