The US Government really, really, really, REALLY wants us to buy cars.
To help stimulate the industry – and our economy as a result – the IRS has reinstated the tax deduction for sales tax paid when purchasing a car. I recall that when I bought my first car they’d just taken this deduction away from taxpayers, and if not so happy for having my first ever new car I’d have been a lot more peeved.
According to the IRS website, taxpayers who buy new passenger cars between Feb. 16, 2009 and Jan. 10, 2010 will be able to deduct their state and local sales and excise taxes on their 2009 returns. The deduction is limited to the state and local sales and excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of a qualified new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle. The deduction phases out for individuals with modified adjusted gross income between $125,000 and $135,000, and joint filers with MAGI between $250,000 and $260,000.
The special deduction is available regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes deductions on their return. The IRS reminded taxpayers the deduction may not be taken on 2008 tax returns.
So, this won’t lessen your tax bill this year. But if you’re facing a large car repair it might be worth it to get a new vehicle. I’ve been reading that used car prices are increasing because people are unwilling or unable to take the plunge with a new car. Between cut-rate pricing, very favorable financing and the new tax break it may make more sense to buy new – something I said I’d never do again.
Of course if you don’t need a car then it’s not frugal to buy one, no matter how good the deal. Thankfully our cars are in good shape. Let’s hope it stays that way…