Friday, March 6, 2015

U.S.: New tax break for people who don't pay taxes

Treasury announces a new scheme to give sales tax breaks to new car buyers in places where there are no sales taxes.

U.S.: New tax break for people who don't pay taxes

General Motors will close its plant near Wilmington, Del., idling the region´s last 450 auto workers. (Michael Wirtz / Staff Photographer)
General Motors will close its plant near Wilmington, Del., idling the region's last 450 auto workers. (Michael Wirtz / Staff Photographer)

Can't make this up: 

The Treasury Department today announced a sales tax break for people who buy new cars "in states that do not have a state sales tax." Statement here. Excerpts:

"Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, taxpayers who buy a new motor vehicle this year are entitled to deduct state or local sales or excise taxes paid on the purchase.  The Treasury Department has determined that purchases made in states without a sales tax–such as Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon–can also qualify for the deduction.

"'Building on the Recovery Act, the Treasury Department is taking steps to make sure every American, in every state qualifies for a tax deduction when purchasing a new car,' said Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin. 'This tax deduction not only increases support for the auto industry as it seeks to rebuild, but also puts money back into the pockets of hardworking Americans.'"

How this works: "Taxpayers who purchase a new motor vehicle  in states that do not impose state sales or excise taxes are entitled to deduct other fees or taxes imposed by the state or local government that are based on the vehicle's sales price or as a per unit fee" from their 2009 tax returns. Registration fees, for example.

Populist Alert: The tax break only applies on fees toward the first $49,500 you pay for that "qualified new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle." And it's "phased out" (why not "killed?") for people making over $125,000 a year.

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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