The deduction is limited to the tax on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of an eligible motor vehicle. Taxpayers who make qualifying new vehicle purchase this year can estimate their deduction with the help of IRS Publication 919, "How Do I Adjust My Withholding?"

Portland The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides a deduction for state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase of new cars, light trucks, motor homes and motorcycles through 2009. The deduction is available regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes deductions on Schedule A. Purchases before Feb. 17, 2009, are not eligible for this special deduction.

The deduction is limited to the tax on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of an eligible motor vehicle. The deduction is phased out for joint filers with modified adjusted gross income between $250,000 and $260,000 and other taxpayers with modified AGI between $125,000 and $135,000.

Taxpayers who make qualifying new vehicle purchase this year can estimate their deduction with the help of IRS Publication 919, "How Do I Adjust My Withholding?" Worksheet 10, lines 10a to 10k take into account purchases above the $49,500 limit, as well as the income phase-outs.

TAX BREAKS FOR QUALIFIED PLUG-IN ELECTRICAL VEHICLES

Portland Plug-in electric vehicles using certain types of batteries may qualify for a new tax credit if purchased this year, the Internal Revenue Service said today.

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) created two new tax credits for various types of electric vehicles, which may include what are commonly referred to as neighborhood electric vehicles.

ARRA creates a tax credit for low-speed or two- or three-wheel electric vehicles, such as motor scooters, purchased after Feb. 17, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2012. The amount of the credit is 10 percent of the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum credit of $2,500. To qualify, a vehicle must be either a low-speed vehicle that is propelled to a significant extent by a rechargeable battery with a capacity of at least 4 kilowatt hours or be a two- or three-wheeled vehicle that is propelled to a significant extent by a rechargeable battery with a capacity of at least 2.5 kilowatt hours.

EESA created a tax credit for vehicles that have at least four wheels and draw propulsion using a rechargeable traction battery with at least four kilowatt hours of capacity. For 2009, the minimum credit is $2,500 and the credit tops out at $7,500 to $15,000, depending on the weight of the vehicle and the capacity of the battery.

During 2009, low-speed, four-wheeled vehicles manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads and highways (neighborhood electric vehicles) may qualify both for the EESA credit and, if purchased after February 17, 2009, for the ARRA credit for low-speed electric vehicles. A taxpayer may not claim both credits for the same vehicle. Vehicles manufactured primarily for off-road use, such as for use on a golf course, do not qualify for either credit.

The Internal Revenue Service is working on guidance regarding certification procedures for both of these credits.