Cash for Clunkers | Taxable?

Cash for Clunkers has come to an end long before the Obama administration initially anticipated. They’re calling it a success (as are some dealers, save for those with the largest paperwork filing nightmares), yet questions remain as to why it was a good idea to use taxpayer money to fund the program. Would you willingly agree to use your hard-earned money to help purchase a vehicle for someone you’ve never met? A more realistic program is proposed in the bill HR 1768, which was introduced into Congress by Texas Rep. Ron Paul. It would give consumers who trade in clunkers tax credits… it would reward you with more of your own money, as opposed to someone else’s. See the video below for more info.

Here’s a serious question people have about Cash For Clunkers these days: Is Cash For Clunkers taxable? In other words, does a Cash For Clunkers rebate count as taxable income? No… and they aren’t guaranteed loans, either. The government pays the dealers the rebate money, but you don’ t have to pay further taxes on it. In fact, you’ve ALREADY been taxed for this program, and your money helped someone else buy a car.

A hidden tax?

Yet there are still those who think there will be a hidden tax spring up next year. To kill that idea, take a quick look at the FAQ page that dispels the notion:

Is the credit subject to being taxed as income to the consumers that participate in the program?

That’s something the country wouldn’t need: people outraged over something that the government believes to be a successful program. However, for New Hampshire auto dealers, Cash For Clunkers may have been the greatest success of all.

New Hampshire is the big winner
According to the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the state’s dealers are set to receive $23,045,500 in rebates because of the Cash For Clunkers program. That, according to the newspaper, is the higher per capita figure in the United States. Their share of the $2.88 billion in total claims ($4,300 average per participating consumer nationally) computes to $17.51 per person, according to a study that originally appeared in the New York Times. They purchased their new Toyota Corollas, Honda Civics and Toyota Camrys (the most popular Cash For Clunkers vehicles purchased), and they did so like many others across the country.

“We have had a lot of people come in saying, ‘Oh yeah, I took advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program,’” said Concord, Massachusetts tax office representative Jan Clouthier. “It seems to have been really successful.”

Frugal consumers, competitive prices
Auto dealers’ group president Peter McNamara wasn’t surprised by the figures for New Hampshire.

“They know a good bargain when they see it, and I think most importantly they probably had most of their vehicles paid off already so they had title in hand and could rush in and get the car,” he said.

McNamara is also of the opinion that significant customer traffic at New Hampshire dealerships from Massachusetts buyers contributed to the sales numbers. “It might be a combination of the New Hampshire dealers being more competitive price-wise, but it also has a lot to do with customer service,” he said.

Speaking of being competitive price-wise, we can help you find guaranteed loans at a great rate. Just click the button to apply!

How many Cash For Clunkers cars were sold in New Hampshire?
Considering the desirable credit of $3,500 or $4,500, the Cash For Clunkers program was understandably popular with consumers, regardless of where that money was coming from. McNamara estimates that the $23,045,500 in rebate money for New Hampshire (an amount confirmed by the numbers available to the Department of Transportation) breaks down to about 5,360 cars sold. This figure has not been officially confirmed as yet.

Shuffling the deck chairs financially or not, Cash For Clunkers has at least had an impact on the nation’s average mpg for vehicles on the road. The trade-ins resulted in an average 9.2 mpg increase, which is at least 58 percent better than what consumers were previously driving.

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