Later this week the Department of the Treasury is expected to release guidance on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)’s EV tax credit under section 30D of the Internal Revenue Code. Highly consequential for the guidance and practical availability of the credit will be how Treasury interprets the term “foreign entity of concern.” This is because Section 30D(d)(7) excludes from credit eligibility vehicles that are:
- placed in service after December 31, 2024, with respect to which any of the applicable critical minerals contained in the battery of such vehicle . . . were extracted, processed, or recycled by a foreign entity of concern; or
- placed in service after December 31, 2023, with respect to which any of the components contained in the battery of such vehicle . . . were manufactured or assembled by a foreign entity of concern.
Meanwhile, last week, Treasury and the Commerce Department released proposed regulations (here and here, respectively) that interpret “foreign entity of concern” for purposes of various incentive programs under the CHIPS & Science Act (CHIPS Act). Because the IRA’s definition of “foreign entity of concern” mirrors the CHIPS Act’s definition of “foreign entity of concern” interpreted by Commerce, and because Treasury cross-referenced Commerce’s interpretation of “foreign entity of concern” in Treasury’s CHIPS Act guidance, it is reasonable to wonder whether Treasury will adopt the same interpretation of “foreign entity of concern” for purposes of the EV credit exclusion in section 30D(d)(7).
If it does, there could be a dramatic diminution of vehicles eligible for the EV credits. Under Treasury’s proposed CHIPS Act regulations, a foreign entity of concern would include, inter alia, (i) any entity organized under the laws of China or having its principal place of business in China, and (ii) any entity organized outside of China 25% or more of whose voting interests are owned by the Chinese government (as in the case of foreign subsidiaries of Chinese state-owned entities (SOEs)). If that interpretation is used for purposes of section 30D, absent a nearly impossibly fast elimination of Chinese critical minerals and battery components from the EV supply chain, the number of vehicles eligible for the 30D EV credit will sharply decrease in 2024 and will be practically eliminated in 2025.
EV manufacturers and suppliers may wish to flag this concern to Treasury.
Continue Reading Will Treasury Adopt the Same Interpretation of “Foreign Entity of Concern” for both the Section 48D Credit under the CHIPS Act and the Section 30D Credit under the Inflation Reduction Act?