Federal, State and Commercial Tax Credits and Rebates

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 included legislation that favored electric vehicles and reinstated an Alternative Fuel Infrastructure federal tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicle supply equipment, that originally expired on December 31, 2011. The federal tax extension has been made retroactive from December 31, 2011, so anyone that has purchased and installed EVSE during 2012 for their home use can now claim a 30% deduction up to a maximum of $1,000 when they file their 2012 tax return.

EVSE Sites Las Vegas NLV 059

Commercial installations can also claim a 30% tax credit up to a total of $30,000 for any EVSE installed on commercial property.

EVSE Sites Las Vegas NLV 054

For an example of the 2012 tax form 8911 government publication in PDF format, titled “Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit”, go to this website link and click on the PDF instructions for form 8911 at:


The EVSE tax extension, as well as a two-wheel and three-wheel EV tax credit modification, were noted by the Director of Government Relations at the Edison Electric Institute:

“…American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Both of these provisions were also included in the Senate Finance Committee-passed tax extenders bill.

Section 402 – Extends the 30C Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property credit through 2013, retroactive to the 2011 expiration of the credit. The 30C credit is a technology-neutral incentive for consumer and business investment in infrastructure to support vehicles that run on alternatives to oil. The tax credit is 30 percent of the cost of any “qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property” (electricity, ethanol, natural gas, CNG, LNG, LPG, hydrogen and fuel blends of at least 20% biodiesel) up to $30,000 for property subject to an allowance for depreciation, and up to $1,000 for residential fueling equipment.

Section 403 – Modifies the 30D electric vehicle credit to include the purchase of two-or-three wheeled plug-in electric vehicles. Previously, a tax credit for the purchase of electric motorcycles were contained in Section 30. During Committee consideration of tax extenders, Senator Wyden offered an amendment to modify 30D to include electric motorcycles, while capping the credit for two-or-three wheel vehicles at $2500 (the same level as the Section 30 credit). The Wyden proposal – which was retained in the fiscal cliff bill – mandated that a “qualified” vehicle would have to be capable of achieving a speed of 45 miles per hour or greater – so that low-speed, non-highway vehicles (such as 3-wheeled golf carts) would not be eligible. The modified credit is for purchase after December 31, 2011 and before January 1, 2014.

Additionally, Section 104 changes the law to allow non-refundable credits including the 30C and 30D credits, to offset Alternative Minimum Tax liability.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Chris Hickling

Edison Electric Institute | Director, Government Relations

p: (202) 508-5051 | c: (571) 283-9461 | chickling@eei.org”

Finally, here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property federal tax credit (Disclaimer: The FAQ below represents the best information NEVA has at the time. Please consult your tax professional to ensure accuracy of your particular tax situation).

1. Question: Does the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property federal tax credit cover the cost of installation, such as construction (trenching, conduit, wire, etc.) or just the charging station equipment?

Answer: Cost of installation is included.

2. Question: If a property owner decides to install charging stations at multiple locations, are they eligible for multiple tax credits up to the $30K max for “each” commercial location ($1000 max for each residential location) or an aggregate total of $30k/$1K for “all” locations combined?

Answer: The credit is allowed for the property placed in service at EACH LOCATION where the property is placed. The property would also be available for a Sec. 179 deduction and/or available for the credit or both assuming the Section 179 limits are met. If tax liability of the business entity is less that credit, the credit is available for carryback (one year) or carry forward (20 years), but no refunds or rebates. For the personal credit of $1,000, if it is NOT used in the year in which the equipment is installed, it is LOST, no carryback, carryover, or tax refunds or rebates.

3. Question: Can only taxable entities apply for the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property federal tax credit (excluding municipalities, non-profits, and other non-taxable entities)?

Answer: Normally, this is true. However, non-taxable entities can negotiate with a partner/vendor, if the vendor qualifies for the tax credit. The vendor can then pass on the savings to the non-profit as a reduction in cost of equipment and installation. A “letter of understanding” between the vendor and non-tax entity is highly recommended and well as confirmation from their local tax/accounting expert.

4. Question: Can the benefit of this federal tax credit be carried over if the taxable entity reports a loss?

Answer: Since the provision is a reduction of the tax liability, qualified entities that have losses can carryback and carryover the credits.

Blog post by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator, Nevada Electric Vehicle Accelerator