Dealers can now obtain direct access to consumer electric vehicle tax credits thanks to a new website launched this Wednesday by the IRS.
By registering through the IRS Energy Credits Online Portal, dealers can enable the immediate transfer of electric vehicle tax credits from the customer to the retailer at point-of-sale, effectively allowing buyers to use their incentives as a down payment for their purchase. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, this method is preferred by an overwhelming majority of consumers. While retailers can sign up now, direct transfers will not be available until January.
To process the transaction, the seller will need to discount the vehicle by the amount approved or provide the rebate in cash. The sale must then be disclosed through the portal, after which their business will receive an advance payment covering the full electric vehicle tax credit within 72 hours of purchase.
The system applies to both new and used EVs, which can qualify for up to $7,500 or $4,000 in rebates, respectively. The IRS portal also allows dealers to verify whether a model qualifies for electric vehicle tax credits and how much the buyer can earn. This information will be available to the retailer, regardless of whether the buyer applies their rebate or saves it for later.
Since electric vehicle tax credits launched earlier this year, dealers have been able to use the incentives to attract consumers and drive EV adoption. However, car buyers are often confused by the process of receiving or applying their rebate, making the purchase process difficult for retailers and consumers. The immediate transfer feature simplifies the experience on both ends, potentially translating to higher sales and retention. However, to take advantage of this system, dealers will need to stay on top of registration and be prepared to educate consumers on their options.