As you know, Lucid Motors allowed customers to confirm their order with a binding contract and non-refundable deposit as a solution for the new bill that passed that would change the $7,500 IRS tax credit for buying an EV.
A lot of customers who ordered but did not receive their Lucid Air are wondering where they stand. In short, if you received your car before April 16, 2022 – no worries there – all accountants will say you qualify for the tax credit. I think all will say you also qualify if you receive the car before 2023, even though the bill was signed just this week. Many are asking if they will get the credit if they get their car after January 1, 2023. You can also find forum threads of Lucid Air buyers talking about this on the Lucid Owners Forum over here and over here.
So here are the updated rules on the IRS website, updated as of April 16, 2022. Please pay close attention to the “What Is a Written Binding Contract” section.
Updated information for consumers as of August 16, 2022
New Final Assembly Requirement
If you are interested in claiming the tax credit available under section 30D (EV credit) for purchasing a new electric vehicle after August 16, 2022 (which is the date that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 was enacted), a tax credit is generally available only for qualifying electric vehicles for which final assembly occurred in North America (final assembly requirement).
The Department of Energy has provided a list of Model Year 2022 and early Model Year 2023 electric vehicles that may meet the final assembly requirement. Because some models are built in multiple locations, there may be vehicles on the Department of Energy list that do not meet the final assembly requirement in all circumstances.
To identify the manufacture location for a specific vehicle, please search the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle on the VIN Decoder website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The website, including instructions, can be found at VIN Decoder.
Transition Rule for Vehicles Purchased before August 16, 2022
If you entered into a written binding contract to purchase a new qualifying electric vehicle before August 16, 2022, but do not take possession of the vehicle until on or after August 16, 2022 (for example, because the vehicle has not been delivered), you may claim the EV credit based on the rules that were in effect before August 16, 2022. The final assembly requirement does not apply before August 16, 2022.
Vehicles Purchased and Delivered between August 16, 2022 and December 31, 2022
If you purchase and take possession of a qualifying electric vehicle after August 16, 2022 and before January 1, 2023, aside from the final assembly requirement, the rules in effect before the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act for the EV credit apply (including those involving the manufacturing caps on vehicles sold). If you entered into a written binding contract to purchase a new qualifying vehicle before August 16, 2022, see the rule above.
What Is a Written Binding Contract?
In general, a written contract is binding if it is enforceable under State law and does not limit damages to a specified amount (for example, by use of a liquidated damages provision or the forfeiture of a deposit). While the enforceability of a contract under State law is a facts-and-circumstances determination to be made under relevant State law, if a customer has made a significant non-refundable deposit or down payment, it is an indication of a binding contract. For tax purposes in general, a contract provision that limits damages to an amount equal to at least 5 percent of the total contract price is not treated as limiting damages to a specified amount. For example, if a customer has made a non-refundable deposit or down payment of 5 percent of the total contract price, it is an indication of a binding contract. A contract is binding even if subject to a condition, as long as the condition is not within the control of either party. A contract will continue to be binding if the parties make insubstantial changes in its terms and conditions.
To reduce carbon emissions and invest in the energy security of the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 significantly changes the eligibility rules for tax credits available for clean vehicles beginning in 2023. The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of the Treasury will post information and request comments from the public on various existing and new tax credit incentives in the coming weeks and months. Please look for updates on IRS.gov and other announcements from the Administration
Pre-Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Information
The information below pre-dates the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 but, subject to the final assembly rule described above, remains relevant for qualifying vehicles purchased and delivered prior to January 1, 2023.
You may be eligible for a credit under Section 30D(a), if you purchased a car or truck with at least four wheels and a gross vehicle weight of less than 14,000 pounds that draws energy from a battery with at least 4 kilowatt hours and that may be recharged from an external source. You must have purchased it in or after 2010 and begun driving it in the year in which you claim the credit. The credit ranges between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on the capacity of the battery. The credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer, when that manufacturer sells 200,000 qualified vehicles.
You may be eligible for a credit under section 30D(g), if you purchased a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle that draws energy from a battery with at least 2.5 kilowatt hours and may be recharged from an external source. You must have purchased the vehicle in 2012 or 2013 and begun using it in the year in which you claim the credit. The credit is 10% of the purchase price of the vehicle with a maximum credit of $2,500.