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Fed tax credit for Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade?

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:48 pm
by aqn
I started a new subject for this so as to not pollute the original thread ("Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V") which should probably remain purely technical.

Any prognostication as to whether Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade would qualify for the EVSE Fed tax credit (50% of cost)? As far as I can tell, the "Qualified Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property" section of IRS form 8911 says yes.

Re: Fed tax credit for Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade?

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:39 pm
by AmarilloLeaf
aqn wrote:I started a new subject for this so as to not pollute the original thread ("Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V") which should probably remain purely technical.

Any prognostication as to whether Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade would qualify for the EVSE Fed tax credit (50% of cost)? As far as I can tell, the "Qualified Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property" section of IRS form 8911 says yes.
How exactly is the 120/240v cable installed on property used as your home?

Per Form 8911, "If the property is not business/investment use property, the property must be installed on property used as your main home."

Re: Fed tax credit for Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade?

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:57 pm
by GeekEV
Plugging in could be construed as installing it... Particularly if you intend to leave it there. But I'm not a tax attorney, so who knows.

Re: Fed tax credit for Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade?

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:07 pm
by garygid
Include the costs for installing dedicated 120v and 240v circuits and sockets.

Then, the same as plugging in a Blink, Leviton, or SPX EVSE?

Was 50% in 2010, but only 30% in 2011, right?

Re: Fed tax credit for Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade?

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:19 pm
by GeekEV
garygid wrote:Was 50% in 2010, but only 30% in 2011, right?
Yep, which kinda sucks. If I'd have realized that I'd have done my EVSE in December...

Re: Fed tax credit for Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade?

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:23 pm
by akohekohe
aqn wrote:I started a new subject for this so as to not pollute the original thread ("Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V") which should probably remain purely technical.

Any prognostication as to whether Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade would qualify for the EVSE Fed tax credit (50% of cost)? As far as I can tell, the "Qualified Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property" section of IRS form 8911 says yes.
Interesting idea but if your reasoning holds why stop at the cost of the upgrade - why not take it on the cost of the EVSE? You essentially purchased two things from Nissan - a car and an EVSE. So you need to determine the portion of the cost of your Leaf that is attributable to the EVSE. I have heard the replacement cost is something like $700 so you could use that plus the upgrade cost (including your shipping costs) plus any other costs for the additional cable to make it work with your dryer outlet or whatever it is you are going to plug it into at your home. If you are buying the 120 volt adapter plus some others for when you are traveling I think you should exclude those since they are not part of the cost to use it in your home. Just because the EVSE can be unplugged doesn't mean it isn't installed. If this is the case none of the plug-in EVSE's are eligible. Your case is probably stronger if you only use it to charge your Leaf at home and you may be able to bolster that case making a bracket to hold the charger while it is plugged and a rack to put the cord on (that should also be added to the cost).

That said, it wouldn't hurt to look at the actual law which the form is based on just to see if there is more information about what installed means. Keep in mind that you can always take a deduction, the question is will it be disallowed if you are audited. It seems there has been a great deal of abuse going on with the EVSE deduction so your chances of audit are actually pretty high but I don't think anywhere near 100%. If you do get audited there is a chance of it getting disallowed but even then this interpretation has enough merit that it certainly isn't fraudulent, so it is unlikely you'll get in any real trouble other than having to pay the tax and penalty and interest (and they might even waive the penalty). So, if there is nothing in the law that says something like "permanently" installed, I would go for it. I think the odds of both getting audited and having a disallowance if audited is small enough to make it worth risking the penalty and interest. Maybe some others will chime in on what the law itself or any case law says about what installed means.

Re: Fed tax credit for Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade?

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:03 am
by aqn
aqn wrote:I started a new subject for this so as to not pollute the original thread ("Nissan L1 EVSE third-party upgrade to both 120V and 240V") which should probably remain purely technical.

Any prognostication as to whether Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade would qualify for the EVSE Fed tax credit (50% of cost)? As far as I can tell, the "Qualified Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property" section of IRS form 8911 says yes.
AmarilloLeaf wrote:How exactly is the 120/240v cable installed on property used as your home?

Per Form 8911, "If the property is not business/investment use property, the property must be installed on property used as your main home."
Along that line, one can argue that unless an EVSE is hardwired, it's not considered "installed"; that is, if your EVSE can be unplugged, you don't qualify for the credit.

This is another gray area of the tax credit rules, like the question of how long one must keep one's LEAF before reselling in order for the IRS to consider one's LEAF purchase "not for resale".

I brought up this question 'cause I thought it interesting, and I may consider getting that upgrade and claim the EVSE credit this year. If the upgraded OEM EVSE proves to be insufficient for my charging needs, I can always buy a Blink or something next year and claim the tax credit for that EVSE then.

And yes, that is another question :) : how many EVSEs can one get the tax credit for? (Maybe this should be yet another thread!) It's pretty clear that one can only get the tax credit for one EVSE in any one tax year, but there is nothing in the IRS form 8911 regarding how many EVSEs one can get the credit for. That is, it says nothing about whether I can buy one EVSE every tax year and claim the tax credit each time.

If you do find information to the contrary, please include references to it 'cause I want to avoid another "the IRS is gonna nail you" "no, they won't" argument.

Re: Fed tax credit for Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade?

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:14 am
by garygid
Commercial systems benefit from the "same" tax credit and apparently include multiple "stations", even at different locations.

So, if you install special sockets for EV charging (even for the included L1 EVSE) at a friend's house, at Grandma's, etc. it would seem that they all would qualify. An actual EVSE purchase might not even be required.

Re: Fed tax credit for Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade?

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:13 am
by mwalsh
The bigger issue will probably be, because of the relatively low cost of the modification, can you actually take ANY of the cost once you've figured out your Tentative Minimum Tax. For me, even the AV EVSE on a Cash and Carry basis came in too low to qualify me for any credit (50% of the cost was $80 less than my TMT).

Re: Fed tax credit for Ingineer's "L1 EVSE -> 120/240" upgrade?

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:40 pm
by AmarilloLeaf
The current law: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/26/us ... C000-.html

which extended the term, and made technical modifications to section 179 :
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/ ... A000-.html

The language used in Section 179A (d) is as follows:

(d) Qualified clean-fuel vehicle refueling property defined
For purposes of this section, the term “qualified clean-fuel vehicle refueling property” means any property (not including a building and its structural components) if—
(1) such property is of a character subject to the allowance for depreciation,
(2) the original use of such property begins with the taxpayer, and
(3) such property is—
(A) for the storage or dispensing of a clean-burning fuel into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle propelled by such fuel, but only if the storage or dispensing of the fuel is at the point where such fuel is delivered into the fuel tank of the motor vehicle, or
(B) for the recharging of motor vehicles propelled by electricity, but only if the property is located at the point where the motor vehicles are recharged.

It would be an IRS call on whether this is a"of a character subject to the allowance for depreciation".