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Tax credit as of production date or delivery date?

Tax credit as of production date or delivery date?

Apologies if this has been covered already but I'm curious, is the tax credit is as of production date or delivery date? In my case, the car is likely going to be built in Dec 2017 and delivered in Jan 2018, according to Teslanomics delivery estimator and it fits the window that Tesla gave me. This could make the difference of taking the credit in tax year 2017 or 2018 (would much prefer 2017).

carlk | August 14, 2017

The day you finished the purchasing transaction with Tesla, or the date on the invoice. There is really not much difference between taking delivery in 17' or 18' though. You can always make less tax deduction from your paycheck beginning 2018, and put the money in your pocket, if you expect to realize tax credit in the year.

ron369 | August 14, 2017

The date is when you actually take possession of the title of the car. Production date is irrelevant.

Note that if you do take possession of the car in 2018, you can get in effect get the credit earlier by reducing the amount of taxes withheld for the feds in 2018. This involves a bit of supervision of your paychecks, but it is better to get the money earlier rather than give the govt an interest free loan for 12+ months. Just make sure that you don't reduce your withholding too much to the point where you end up paying underpayment penalties.

stevenmaifert | August 14, 2017

It's the date the vehicle was placed in service, which for most folks will be the date they take delivery.: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8936.pdf

wsuschmitt | August 14, 2017

What does the Tesla estimator say? I'd trust them more than a third party site...

AlMc | August 14, 2017

Gray area that my accountant explored for me>. NOT advice: check with your own accountant.

My model S was set for delivery between Christmas and New Year. I wished to take the tax credit in 2014 (not '15).
The gray area about possession . If the car was paid for, registered in my name and insured while sitting on a transport truck/train (basically had left the factory) on December 31st I could claim the tax credit in that year as I had legally taken possession of the car. this is a real gray area and I may have been hauled in by the IRS to discuss and they may have disallowed it.

Luckily I never had to go through with it as it arrived Dec 20th (early!) at the local service center for delivery.