The Energy Policy Act of 2005 replaced the clean-fuel burning deduction with a tax credit. A tax credit is subtracted directly from the total amount of federal tax owed, thus reducing or even eliminating the taxpayer’s tax obligation. The tax credit for hybrid vehicles applies to vehicles purchased or placed in service on or after January 1, 2006.
The credit is only available to the original purchaser of a new, qualifying vehicle. If a qualifying vehicle is leased to a consumer, the leasing company may claim the credit.
Hybrid vehicles have drive trains powered by both an internal combustion engine and a rechargeable battery. Many currently available hybrid vehicles may qualify for the tax credit.
These models have been certified for the credit in the following amounts:
† This reflects a decrease in the credit amount as of Oct. 1, 2006, due to the manufacturers meeting quarterly sales of 60,000 qualified hybrid cars — See Quarterly Sales, below.
†† This credit amount does not phase out. The full amount of the altenative fuel vehicle credit would be available for vehicles purchased on or before December 31, 2010.