US: Toyota's hybrid success reduces buyers' tax benefits
The success of Toyota's hybrid models in the US has led, ironically, to a reduction or elimination of tax credits buyers can claim back from the tax man.
Although 2007 model year hybrid vehicles sold by Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) USA, have received Internal Revenue Service (IRS) approval and qualify for the same credit amounts as the model year 2006 versions of these vehicles, both 2006 and 2007 Toyota and Lexus hybrids purchased on or after 1 October 2006 are subject to reduced federal hybrid tax credit amounts, as TMS is the first manufacturer to reach the 60,000 cumulative hybrid sales threshold in the US, the automaker's local sales and distribution unit said.
Purchasers of the Toyota Prius, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid may currently qualify for a federal tax credit. Prius models purchased on or after 1 January 2006 and before 1 October 2006 may qualify for a tax credit of $US3,150. Highlander Hybrids and Camry Hybrids purchased during the same period may qualify for a tax credit of $2,600.
The reduced tax credit amounts effective from 1 October 2006 are $1,575 for the Prius and $1,300 for both the Camry Hybrid and the Highlander Hybrid. Prius vehicles purchased between 1 April 2007 and 30 September 2007 may qualify for a tax credit of $787.50, while Highlander Hybrid and Camry Hybrid may qualify for a $650 tax credit.
Toyota hybrid models purchased after 30 September 2007 will not qualify for a tax credit based on current federal income tax laws.
The Lexus RX 400h and GS 450h currently may qualify for a federal tax credit. RX 400h models purchased on or after 1 January 2006 and before 1 October 2006 may qualify for a tax credit of $2,200, while the GS 450h purchased during the same time period may qualify for a tax credit of $1,550. For vehicles purchased between 1 October 2006 and 31 March 2007, RX 400h models may qualify for a tax credit of $1,100 and the GS 450h may qualify for a $775 tax credit.
RX 400h models purchased between April 1, 2007 and September 30, 2007 may qualify for a tax credit of $550, while the GS 450h may qualify for a $387.50 tax credit.
But all models purchased on or after 1 October 2007 will not qualify for a tax credit.
Certification has not been established for the LS 600h L, which goes on sale in spring 2007, TMS said.
To qualify for the full 100% federal tax credit, the customer must have taken delivery of the vehicle on or after 1 January 2006 and before 1 October 2006.