A Guide to the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

A Guide to the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

To incentivize the adoption of Electric Vehicles, the United States government has introduced tax credits for EV buyers. In this guide, we’ll delve into all you need to know about the electric vehicle tax credit, how it works, and how you can maximize your savings.

Understanding the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

The electric vehicle tax credit is a government incentive designed to encourage consumers to switch from traditional gasoline-powered cars to environmentally friendly electric vehicles. The credit reduces the amount of income tax you owe, which can translate into significant savings when purchasing an EV. In the United States, the federal government offers this credit, while some states also provide additional incentives at the state level.

Eligibility Criteria

To take advantage of the electric vehicle tax credit, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria:

  1. Vehicle Qualification: The vehicle must be a qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle and must have a battery capacity of at least 4 kilowatt-hours.
  2. New Purchase: The tax credit typically applies to new EV purchases. Used EVs might be eligible for a used EV credit and individual state incentives could apply. 
  3. Tax Liability: The credit can’t exceed your tax liability. In other words, if your tax liability is lower than the credit amount, you won’t receive the full credit.
  4. Credit Phase-Out: The federal EV tax credit is subject to a phase-out period. Once a manufacturer sells a certain number of eligible EVs, the credit amount decreases and eventually phases out for that manufacturer.

To view the full list of electric vehicles that qualify for the credit, visit https://fueleconomy.gov/feg/tax2023.shtml 

Calculating the Credit Amount

The electric vehicle tax credit amount varies based on the battery capacity of the EV. Generally, the larger the battery, the higher the credit. The maximum credit was $7,500 for EVs with a battery capacity of 16 kWh or more. It’s important to note that in order to qualify for the tax credit your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) cannot exceed:

  • $300,000 for married couples filing jointly 
  • $225,000 for heads of household 
  • $150,000 for all other filers including single 

Maximizing Your Savings

Here are some strategies to maximize your savings through the electric vehicle tax credit:

  1. Choose the Right Vehicle: Research different EV models and their battery capacities. Opt for a vehicle with a larger battery to qualify for a higher tax credit.
  2. Understand State Incentives: In addition to the federal tax credit, some states offer their own incentives. Research and take advantage of any state-level credits, rebates, or exemptions.
  3. Time Your Purchase: The phase-out period can affect the credit amount. If a manufacturer is nearing its phase-out threshold, consider purchasing a qualifying EV from a manufacturer with the full credit available.
  4. Consider Your Tax Situation: Your modified adjusted gross income is impacted by Roth conversions, realized capital gains, and Roth 401(k) contributions (whereas pre-tax contributions would reduce your MAGIIf you are near the threshold, you will want to be considerate of how these items will impact your specific tax situation so that you are not phased out of the creditIt is a cliff phaseout, meaning going over by $1 means you lose the entire credit.


The electric vehicle tax credit is an opportunity to save money in taxes. By understanding the eligibility criteria, calculating the credit amount, and employing smart strategies, you can maximize your savings. As the automotive industry continues to innovate, keeping abreast of changes in tax incentives will ensure you make informed decisions for your next EV purchase. 

Remember that tax policies and regulations can change over time, so it’s essential to verify the current status of the electric vehicle tax credit and related incentives before making any financial decisions.

Disclosure: Neither Raymond James Financial Services nor any Raymond James Financial Advisor renders advice on tax issues, these matters should be discussed with the appropriate professional.Ð’dThe information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.Ð’dOpinions expressed in the are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Recommended Articles

Do you want our blog posts sent straight to your inbox?

We send out a weekly newsletter that mirrors the content of our blog posts. If you would rather digest this content directly from your inbox just fill out the form provided. 

Get Started with Fontana Financial Planning

Preferred Form of Communication