Go Green and Save: A Closer Look at the Oregon EV Tax Credit, and More

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If you haven’t gotten the renewable energy tax credits for your home, you’ve been missing out. The Fed will reimburse some clean energy purchases in the home of up to 30%.

That said, federal government credits are really only the beginning of saving money on green expenses. Once we get into state tax credits, the benefits increase even further. If you live in Oregon, what Oregon EV tax credit do you have access to?

Today, we take a look at Oregon’s electric vehicle tax credit, tax rebates for solar panels, and more.

Oregon EV Tax Credit

So, there is some bad news if you are an EV owner in Oregon. Oregon did at one time support the purchase of EVs and gave generous tax credits to anyone who went fully electric. Unfortunately, the program ran out of money and there has not been any renewal since.

Before you give up hope, know that this is temporary. Many Oregonian leaders argue that the depletion of funding is a good sign. It means that adoption was so massive that government funding could not keep up with the pace of transition.

In other words, Oregonians buy electric vehicles at very high rates. It’s highly likely that these programs will receive new funding in the spring of 2024. After all, Oregon solar incentives and rebates are already pretty good!

Oregon has two specific tax rebates for EVs: the Clean Vehicle Rebate and the Charge Ahead Rebate.

Clean Vehicle Rebate

Via the Clean Vehicle Rebate, one could get a combined $7,500 based on individual income. That’s a huge chunk of change to take out of your car payments. You could potentially cut off a fifth of the cost from, for example, a low-end Tesla.

Do keep in mind that this rebate will not apply to vehicles purchased before funding is renewed for the program. So if you have wanted to purchase an EV, hold off for now. Wait until the program receives further funding to make your purchase.

Charge Ahead Rebate

The Charger Ahead Rebate provides up to $5000 in rebates for the purchase of an EV. However, the stipulation here is that your income must be below a certain level. Anyone with an income 400% above the federal poverty guidelines does not qualify.

This means the cut-off is at $296,000 of individual annual income. The electric vehicle tax credit still applies to those earning as little as $60,000 per year.

Do Used Vehicles Count?

Yes. Used vehicles do count, although again there is the same $7,500 limit on the rebate. Used vehicles also count for the Charge Ahead Rebate.

Is There an Electric Vehicle Tax?

Yes. Oregon charges a $316 EV registration fee for anyone who wishes to register and title their electric vehicle.

Ostensibly this is to make up for lost tax revenue with gas, a somewhat ironic decision. That said, this is immaterial simply because you are already getting thousands of dollars off your EV purchase.

Federal Electric Car Tax Credit

If that wasn’t good enough, there’s even more. The federal government offers a maximum of $7,500 for qualifying purchases. In theory, you could knock $15,000 off your EV purchase if you check all of the boxes.

Oregon Solar Incentives

Residents of Oregon have access to some of the best solar incentives in the entire country. Note: These are separate from the federal solar tax credit.

In Oregon, there are two specific rebates for installing solar panels: one for panels, and one for electrical storage solutions.

The panels’ rebate will give you up to $5,000 should you do a solar panel installation. If you decide to include a battery storage unit, you can claim up to $2,500.

Again, this is income-based. High-income individuals 400% above the poverty threshold will not be able to avail of these benefits.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The federal solar tax credit is a broad, all-encompassing credit for green additions or modifications made to your home. It includes changes made to a new home or to an existing one.

Qualifying purchases include the following:

  • Solar panels
  • Wind turbines
  • Heat pumps
  • Solar water heaters
  • Fuel cells and battery storage tech

This is a very generous benefit that can cover up to 30% of associated costs. By associated costs, we mean both the purchase of green energy devices and their installation. That means you can cover both the purchase of solar panels and the cost of hiring contractors to install them.

This does not apply to just any green energy solution that you purchase. They must meet a specific Solar Rating Certification Corporation or Energy Star requirement.

What About EV Chargers?

EV chargers are essential if you own an electric vehicle and want to save the most money. They couple very well with an existing green energy solution, such as solar panels. You can effectively charge your vehicle for free once you’ve paid off the panels and charging solution.

The federal tax credit does cover an EV charger. Same as with the other things on the list, you can only claim up to 30% of the related expenses.

How to Claim Tax Credits

Whether you plan on claiming Oregon’s tax credits, federal tax credits, or both, you have to follow procedures to get them. These are not rebates that you will receive directly on your purchases. Rather, as you may have guessed, you claim the credit in your taxes.

There are a few requirements here. First, you must claim the credit for the device or service in the year that you installed it. So, if you purchased an EV or solar panels in 2023, then you would claim them on your April tax return in 2024.

Take note of that word: installed. This does not count if you purchase solar panels, but do not install them during a particular tax year. You can only claim the credit for the year that you put them up on your house.

Get Your Green Energy Solutions Today

The Oregon EV tax credit, despite currently being out of funds, is quite generous. There are also tax credits for installing solar panels. You can double up on Oregon benefits with the federal ones to write off a considerable amount from your taxes.

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