The tax credit available to buyers of electric vehicles is now available at the time of purchase.

Buyers can get up to $7,500 credit for qualifying new electric cars and trucks and up to $4,000 for used EVs purchased through a dealer.

Under the old rules, buyers had to claim that credit when filing federal taxes, and they had to owe money — they could use the credit to pay existing taxes.

The change, effective Jan. 1, 2024, means that buyers can complete some extra paperwork at the dealership and use the money right away — toward the down payment for the electric vehicle or simply ask for it in cash.

Before you purchase an EV, make sure the dealer is registered for this new program.