Remember the gas-guzzler tax allowance, nicknamed the "HUMMER deduction" because it allowed small-business owners to buy massive, heavy, fuel-sucking SUVs and deduct a large piece of the cost from their taxes?

The HUMMER brand went away as a result of the 2009 GM bankruptcy and government-backed restructuring. But the Section 179 tax credit has had more lives than a TV zombie.

Now, in a delicious twist of fate, it turns out that the Tesla Model X all-electric luxury SUV is eligible for the very same tax break.

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The Section 179 deduction allows large capital purchases to be deducted as a business expense, instead of amortized over a number of years.

It first showed up in the Tax Code during the Bush era, with the goal of cutting the cost of purchasing large capital equipment for farmers--think tractors and combine harvesters--as well as other small businesspeople.

But the provision was written to allow any vehicle weighing more than 6,000 pounds to qualify, requiring that a vehicle be only "an integral part of ... furnishing transportation" as well as being acquired for business use. 

2016 Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X

That let thousands of wealthy white-collar professionals with their own business deduct some or all of the full cost of buying large SUVs, heavy-duty pickup trucks, or (at the time) new HUMMER SUVs.

As Autoblog confirmed this week, the Model X itself weighs 5,441 pounds, so its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) will almost certainly exceed 6,000 pounds.

Alexis Georgeson of Tesla Motors confirmed that expectation and told Autoblog that a deduction "could be taken for up to $25,000 of the purchase price."

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She cautioned, however, that, "Tesla always encourages its customers to consult with their personal tax accountant, as each individual's tax situation may be different and Tesla does not guarantee this deduction."

The credit applies to vehicles up to $500,000, which should cover even the priciest Signature Series Model X P90D with every option (at somewhere north of $135,000).

For the full IRS language on the deducation, see its publication about Section 179 here.


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