Do you have questions about the income cap or increased rebate? Get details below.
Income eligibility requirements apply to rebate applications submitted on or after March 29, 2016. Requirements vary based on vehicle purchase/lease date as described in the sections below.
At the time an applicant submits a signed application for a rebate, the most current CVRP Implementation Manual available, as well as the Terms and Conditions signed by the applicant, will apply. Both the Terms and Conditions and Implementation Manual in place at the time of application will determine the applicant’s eligibility for the program. These governing documents are updated several times every year and changes may impact how an applicant’s income is calculated, and therefore the applicant’s eligibility for the program. The next scheduled updates to CVRP governing documents can be found in the CVRP FAQs.
Gross Annual Income Definition
For the purposes of CVRP, gross annual income is based on the applicant’s most recent federal tax return or other proof of income documentation as determined by the administrator. Gross income includes, but is not limited to the following:
Wages, unemployment, workers' compensation, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, public assistance, veterans' payments, survivor benefits, pension or retirement income, interest, dividends, rents, royalties, income from estates, trusts, educational assistance, alimony, child support, assistance from outside the household, and other miscellaneous sources.
Determining income based on federal tax returns, the Administrator will review the following sections:
- On IRS Form 1040: Sum of lines 7-21 (may not equal line 22)
Note: Net operating losses carried over from previous years are not included in this calculation. If line 21 is negative, the corresponding "Statement" filed with your 1040 must be provided.
- On IRS Form 1040A: Sum of lines 7-14
- On IRS Form 1040EZ: Line 4
Only a portion of applicants are selected for income verification. Please do not submit copies of your federal tax return unless requested by a CVRP team member. See the Income Verification section below for information about income documentation that may be required.
Income Cap for Higher-Income Consumers
Consumers are not eligible for CVRP rebates if their gross annual incomes are above the thresholds listed below. The income cap applies to all eligible vehicle types except fuel-cell electric vehicles.
|Vehicle Date of Purchase/Lease*||Income Cap|
|November 1 2016 – Present||
|March 29 2016 – October 31 2016||
|Prior to March 29 2016||
Increased Rebate Levels for Low- and Moderate-Income Consumers
Consumers with household incomes less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for an increased rebate amount as listed below. The option to apply for an increased rebate is shown on the online application based on the income information the applicant provides. Applicants who are claimed as dependents are not eligible for increased rebates regardless of their income. Increased rebate amounts are available for fuel-cell electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
|Vehicle Date of Purchase/Lease*||Increased Rebate|
|November 1 2016 – Present||Standard rebate amount** increased by $2,000|
|March 29 2016 – October 31 2016||Standard rebate amount** increased by $1,500|
|Prior to March 29 2016||Not Applicable|
**Standard rebate amounts are available on CVRP’s list of eligible vehicles, located at cleanvehiclerebate.org/eligible-vehicles. The rebate for an eligible vehicle will be issued to the qualified recipient in a single allotment.
For the purposes of CVRP, a household includes all family members or other unrelated persons, including the rebate applicant, who reside together and share common living expenses. Income verification is completed for all members of the household ages 17 years and older. Note: Roommates who do not have a lease separate from the applicant are considered part of the applicant’s household.
The table below lists the Increased Rebate Household Income Limits effective July 1st 2018. These numbers are based on 300% of the 2018 Federal Poverty Level. For example, a family of 3 with a combined household income of less than $62,340 would qualify for the increased rebate.
|Household Size||Combined Household Income must be less than*:|
For households with more than 8 persons, add $12,960 for each additional person.
*These values are equal to 300% of the 2018 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines
Only a portion of applicants are selected for income verification. If you are not selected, you do not need to submit proof of income. If you are selected, you must provide proof of income. Failure to provide documentation for income verification will result in your application being cancelled and no rebate issued. See our FAQ "How do I know if I’ve been selected for income verification?" for more information.
For applicants selected for income verification and whose most recent tax year transcripts are not available, additional documentation will be required to verify compliance with current income requirements.
Consumers applying for standard rebate:
Standard rebate applicants selected* for income verification must submit IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as proof of income. Please review the guidance in our Sample Supporting Documents to ensure you correctly complete this form and avoid delays in your verification.
Consumers applying for increased rebate:
Increased rebate applicants selected* for income verification must submit:
- One completed Household Summary Form
- A completed IRS Form 4506-T for every household member age 17 and older
Additional documentation may be requested to provide complete details on income and household size.
Please review the guidance in our Sample Supporting Documents to ensure you correctly complete these forms and avoid delays in your verification.
If an applicant participates in one or more of the public assistance programs on CVRP’s Categorical Eligibility List, they may also submit documentation confirming their participation for consideration by the Administrator.
*You do not have to submit proof of income unless you have been selected for income verification.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Low Carbon Transportation Investments and AQIP Funding Plan in late June 2015, which included several changes to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP):
- Income cap for higher-income consumers
- Increased rebate levels for low- and moderate-income consumers
These changes were implemented on March 29, 2016.