No, not my Prius!

By Barbara Tipton | Apr 29, 2013


In November 2012, our trusty model year 2000 Toyota 4-Runner was consigned to the bone yard. For the last several years, our car was kept on life support by the skilled mechanics at Magic Toyota. But it was time to pull the plug. So we decided to buy a brand new Toyota Prius V.

Lo and behold. Our new car was the subject of the cleverly titled letter, “Oh no! Not my Prius”, written by frequent Edmonds Beacon contributor Steven Keeler. Mr. Keeler remarked that we “Edmonds ecos” and “greenies” reaped tax benefits that “subsidized the vehicle’s price.” Not so.

When preparing our 2012 tax return, I dug into the IRS tax rules to see if I could find a deduction or tax credit. I discovered that citizens who bought plug-in electrically powered vehicles are eligible for a credit up to $7500.

However, taxpayers who purchased a hybrid vehicle in 2012 are not.

When the hybrids first appeared on the market, early adopters were rewarded for embracing the new technology. The first 60,000 Toyota hybrid buyers qualified for a full tax credit. The 60,000th Prius was sold during the quarter ending July 30, 2006.

Over the next four quarters, the credit was slowly phased out.

For detailed information regarding the tax credits, Mr. Keeler or any other interested parties may refer to IRS Notice 2006-78 or call Nicole Cimino of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel at 202-622-3120. Or, he may read Section 30B (a) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Oh by the way, the Toyota was not one of the automobile manufacturers who received a “bail out” from the Federal government.

My agenda, Mr. Keeler, is to simply report the facts.


Barbara Tipton

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