The Internal Revenue Service said that certain lean-burn technology vehicles now qualify for the alternative motor vehicle tax credit.

Previously, the IRS had only certified hybrid vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles for the credit, but now some advanced lean-burn technology vehicles, which typically run on diesel fuel, have also been certified. These include the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0L TDI sedan and 2009 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0L TDI SportWagen, which both qualify for a $1,300 credit; the Mercedes GL320 BlueTEC, which qualifies for an $1,800 credit; the Mercedes R 320 BlueTEC, which qualifies for a $1,550 credit; and the Mercedes ML 320 BlueTEC, which qualifies for a $900 credit.

The vehicles contain an internal combustion engine designed to operate primarily using more air than is necessary for complete combustion of the fuel. The vehicles also must incorporate direct fuel injection technology and achieve at least 125 percent of the 2002 model year city fuel economy rating.

For a taxpayer to claim the credit, the original use of the vehicle must begin with the taxpayer, and the vehicle must be acquired for use or lease by the taxpayer and not for resale. There is a limitation on the number of qualified hybrid and advanced lean-burn technology vehicles eligible for credit. The phase-out period begins when a manufacturer sells 60,000 qualified hybrid and advanced lean-burn technology vehicles.

Taxpayers may claim the full amount of the allowable credit up to the end of the first calendar quarter after the quarter in which the manufacturer records its sale of the 60,000th hybrid passenger automobile or light truck or advanced lean-burn technology motor vehicle. For the second and third calendar quarters after the quarter in which the 60,000th vehicle is sold, taxpayers may claim 50 percent of the credit. For the fourth and fifth calendar quarters, taxpayers may claim 25 percent of the credit. No credit is allowed after the fifth quarter.

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