Budget deal restores credits for charging stations, fuel-cell cars

Fears that Congress would kill the federal tax credit for purchase of plug-in electric cars were dispelled in December when that incentive survived the $1.5 billion tax-cut bill.

Now Congress has added back a handful of other tax credits related to electric cars and greener transportation in the $400 billion budget bill it passed last Friday morning, and was signed by President Trump.

The 652-page Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (HR 1892) restores a tax credit for installation of alternative-vehicle fueling property that had expired at the end of 2016, the Green Car Report reports.

The provision allows a portion of the cost of purchasing and installing a home electric-car charging station to be taken as a credit on 2017 federal tax returns, Kallanish Energy learns.

Individual and joint filers can claim a credit of 30% of that cost, up to a maximum of $1,000, with proper documentation to back up the claim.

The final extension was only for one year, meaning that while it can be taken on 2017 tax filings this year, it will not be usable for tax returns applying to 2018.

While the Senate version of the legislation (S 2256, the Tax Extender Act of 2017) continued the credit for two years, the final version adopted by the House did not.

That means advocates will likely gear up to lobby for a further extension toward the end of this year, according to the Green Car Report.

Other credits that were restored include a 10% credit up to $2,500 for the purchase of an electric motorcycle or three-wheeled electric vehicle, and a $4,000 credit for the purchase of a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.

Environmental and various special-interest groups generally lauded the restoration of the credits.

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