Home Depot To Refund Taxes To Electric-Car Charging Station Buyers

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2013 Nissan Leaf (Japanese trim)

2013 Nissan Leaf (Japanese trim)

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Many states offer discounts, rebates, and other incentives for the purchase of infrastructure improvements that encourage electric-car ownership.

Washington is one such state, providing tax breaks on charging stations and similar EV-related devices.

Unfortunately, Home Depot sales associates weren't aware of the program, which made charging station purchases exempt from sales tax -- or rather, they weren't telling customers about it.

The problem came to light when a Seattle-area farmer visited Home Depot to purchase a charging station. The store didn't have any in stock and directed him to order one online. (In fact, it appears that's the only way Home Depot sells the devices.)

When he received his bill, he saw that he'd been charged around $70 in sales tax. 

Thankfully, he knew about the tax exemption, and called Home Depot to complain. The service rep explained that although Home Depot does collect tax on charging stations, it also runs a program to refund buyers for the amount they've paid in sales tax.

Problem was, Home Depot's online agents weren't doing a very good job of explaining that to shoppers--many of whom likely didn't even know about the tax exemption. 

Now, Home Depot is working to track down everyone in Washington state who has bought one of its charging systems, to ensure they have the form to claim back their erroneous tax payment.

If you fit that bill, you can download a PDF to facilitate your reimbursement. 

For the full story, watch the news broadcast embedded below -- chock full of local TV goodness.

[hat tip: Brian Henderson]


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Comments (4)
  1. I think this article could have been written a lot more clearly.

    The problem here isn't "tax rebates" or "discounts", the chargers are "tax exempt". Home Depot has listed the EVSE's with the wrong tax code in the computer. They should be listed as "tax exempt" and that is the only solution that is acceptable.

    We have this problem in Massachusetts where if you buy a candy bar or an article of clothing at Home Depot then they are tax exempt, but most other things are not.

    Let's not confuse this with "tax rebates" such as a $1000 credit from the state or federal government at the end of the year.

  2. @John: Fair point. I'll tweak the wording to explain that it's not a post-purchase rebate but an at-the-time-of-purchase tax exemption.

  3. I guess that is a Washington State thing.

    EVSE doesn't get exemption in CA.

    The state gives you a rebate after you pay the full 9% sales tax on the car first...

  4. The one great thing in this story is a single EVSE buyer realized the problem contacted Home Depot and fixed it.

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