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Model S Financing With Tesla

If you finance with Tesla, how are the rebates handled? Are they deducted from the amount to be financed, or do you have to finance the sales price (less down payment) and apply for the rebates?

Thanks

What rebates? Are you talking about the tax credits from the government?

If it's the credits, that only comes into play when you go to file your taxes.

No

You have to finance the total amount, less down payments. As mentioned, the federal tax rebate is a tax credit on that year's tax return. Any state rebate is a check mailed to you later (at least in the state of California that's how it works).

@crmohler: Thanks, that's what I thought, but just wanted to make sure. I'm in CA.

You have to finance at least 60%. At least that's what it was when I did it last month. They have changed the rules before so it's best to check online and with your Delivery Specialist.

Is the Cali State rebate still sending checks?

When I bought mine, the Tesla website no longer mentioned CA, and the Ownership Advisor said they were out of funds, but I could always put my name in anyway because they expected that funding might come through. Since that time, Tesla has added the CA rebate back to the website, so it looks as if it's on. California's website seemed to have indicated all along that I could apply, and that they would pay until the money runs out. The issue, I suppose, was whether Tesla was willing to say that they expected the money to be there between the time I ordered the car and the time I will get it.

It is an odd way of listing the priced of a Tesla -- minus tax credits. I understand they are trying to show the real price (to some degree). However, whether one receives a tax credit by state and federal government is dependent on individual situations. For the most part, these are Tax Credits (which means you MUST owe that amount or more). There are individual income situations, individual deductions, Alternative Minimum Tax considerations, etc.

Although I understand why Tesla shows the price -- marketing, it can be misleading. Consider the LIST PRICE. Depending on the your state and Federal Tax situation, you MAY or MAYNOT get the full amount.

It also depends on what you mean by owe. It comes out of your tax liability, not the amount you owe, per se. For some people, it might mean getting a tax refund. If your tax liability is too low, that's a different story, but I don't think there are many people who buy a Tesla and pay so little in tax. Anybody who can afford one but pays so little in tax can work things out, but I suspect that most buyers pay a lot more in taxes.

Another tax consideration is sales tax. In some states it can be pretty high and it's near 10% where I live. Prior to this, the last time I bought a car was on a December 31st, not only because it's a great day to negotiate a car purchase but also because I wanted it to be the same calendar year that I bought my wife a car. Federal law lets you write off sales tax or state taxes, but not both. There's a standard table you can use if you don't have records of every bit of sales tax you pay, but if you use the standard tables, you can add big ticket items such as cars on top of that. For example, a person who makes $150,000, lives in my city and has three exemptions gets about $2000 from the tables, and $9000 in tax on a Tesla brings it up to $11,000. That may or may not be more than state taxes, but add another car the same year and it starts adding up. That comes off on schedule A. Buying two big ticket items in the same calendar year is a lot better than buying them in a 12 month period that spans calendar years.

Schedule A deductions reduce taxable income, which reduces liability. If you find yourself with less than $7500 in liability, regardless of how much you paid in payroll deductions or estimated taxes, you will lose out on part of the $7500. But you may be able to make up for some of that. For example, if you sell appreciated stock before the end of the year, you will have long and/or short term capital gains. If you find that your tax credit would be about $5000 because you have no more liability, then you might as well sell appreciated stock. If you end up with another $2500 in taxes due, then you'd get the whole credit. That won't put more money in your pocket, but it would lower your liability down the line if you sold the same stocks, since in a different year you wouldn't get the credit. You can't sell stocks at a loss and buy them back without worrying about wash sales, but you can sell them at a profit and buy them back, end up with a tax liability that comes out of your tax credit, and then when you sell the stock some time in the future, you have a higher cost basis and lower tax.

I'm not a tax professional by any means so don't take this as gospel.

I assume that if I finance privately through a local credit union and for example put down say $50,000 and then finance the rest, I still qualify for the tax credit. True ?
Thx,
Steve

Thanks for all the info. The Federal tax credit is yours if you qualify, no matter how you pay or where you finance.

As far as the three year buyback from Tesla, I assume you must finance through their partners, otherwise they will not give you a buyback. True?

And yes, Tesla should show the MSRP in the financing calculator they use.

@avanti5010 Yes, that's correct, if you want the buyback program you have to finance through Tesla with one of their partners.

I did not qualify for a $7500 tax credit, I only qualified for $4900 which sucked.


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