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New tax breaks are available to anyone who wants to help the environment by purchasing fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. But if owners of small businesses really want to save money, they can get even bigger federal tax breaks by buying the largest gas-guzzling SUVs.
The disparity is drawing criticism from environmentalists and the Republican chairman of the Senate's tax-writing committee, who is working on a change. Dealers and owners who have benefited from the SUV tax incentive say it helps spur a key part of the economy -- auto-making -- and allows small business owners to purchase vehicles that improve their bottom line.
Federal tax rules that took effect last month allow a credit of up to $3,150 for anyone buying a hybrid car. The credit is the same regardless of tax bracket.
However, owners of small businesses who buy a Hummer, Ford Excursion or other SUV weighing more than 3 tons get a deduction of up to $25,000 -- depending on tax bracket -- if they use the vehicle exclusively for work.
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That deduction (SUVs) is an abomination. Buy a Mercedes and get a big deduction. Yet another reason to scrap the complicated IRS structure and move to a Fair Tax. www.fairtax.org
Unfair. Too many credits, exemptions and too complex. I have an MBA and studied taxes. Even with Turbo Tax, filing is complex. Since I have zero health coverage I have an HSA. Filing for that deduction required over riding this new 'feature' in Turbo Tax. WAY too complex & time-consuming.
Lets not overly demonize the big SUV's. Some people (myself included) swear by them. What guzzles more gas if you have a family of 5-6 people, a big SUV that can fit them all or two different cars that you'd need to fit them?
I have a Ford Explorer that seats 7 as I have a family of 5 (all three kids in either car seats or boosters) and I need that extra room for even the simplest of things like grocery shopping nevermind going on a trip or even to the park sledding in winter or to the beach in summer.
I'm sure a Mustang GT 5.0 litre guzzles the same amount of gas or more as my Explorer does but you dont see people railing against that. Why is the SUV the whipping boy of the motor industry? Is it Soccer moms?