Buyer Nightmare. Just found out bad news!

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Valente, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Ummmm... easily? Since I, like most people, am not a lawyer? In case you didn't notice, every one posting a comment here except you agreed with Valente. Perhaps you do know the law, but have you perhaps lost sight of justice? Sadly, that seems to be all too typical of all too many lawyers.

    Given how much of our lives are influenced by the law, I think that all laws and legal documents should be written in plain English, so that a reasonably well educated layman could read and understand the law. It's very unfortunate that most of the people who write laws are lawyers, which has lead to the current situation that it's almost impossible for a layman to understand much or most of the legal code, or understand case law. Lawyers in the modern era work very much like a medieval guild, ensuring their exclusive control over some area of commerce, and making sure they would have no competition by anyone not a member of their own guild.

    In other words, lawyers writing laws and legal procedures so that only other lawyers can understand them, is increasingly less about justice or the rule of law, and increasingly more about lawyers making work for themselves and ensuring their own job security.

    Fortunately, there is at least a strong minority supporting contracts written in plain English. See, for example, the following article from the Harvard Business Review: "The Case for Plain-Language Contracts".

    It's too bad that trend has not spread to the legal code, nor to the increasingly arcane and convoluted legal procedure of trials, which has continually gotten more complex over the decades. It has gotten so complex that for several decades now it has been impossible for every criminal case to go to trial, so 90% of them or more are settled by plea bargaining. That means a defendant is pressured into pleading a guilty to a crime he didn't commit, which the prosecutor and judge then treat as a crime he actually committed. In our very broken and perverted legal system, this is called "justice".

    I hope you're not actually trying to defend our very broken legal system! (Yes, I know; my complaint about plea bargaining concerns criminal law, and the case in question is civil law. The two shouldn't be confused.)

    Obviously there must be exceptions to that, or it would be impossible to ever prosecute fraud based on written evidence! If you mean that it wasn't appropriate to introduce that kind of evidence in small claims court, because such cases are limited to a certain type of legal proceeding in which that sort of evidence isn't admissible, then say so. Implying or insinuating that it was Valente's intent to commit perjury by submitting into evidence the very documents at the heart of his complaint, is just about as wrong-headed as you can get. If he had actually been charged with such a crime -- as you seem to be suggesting he could have been -- than that IMHO would have been one of the worst cases of a perversion of justice I've ever heard regarding a U.S. court case!

    I think the real question here is whether or not the judge had sufficient leeway to rule as fairness and justice indicated he should have. It may well be that the judge had to follow the letter of the law, even if that violated its spirit. While it might be appropriate (and might not) to argue that it wasn't the judge's intent to rule unfairly, I don't see how any reasonable person could argue that the outcome here was fair, or that it qualifies as "justice".

    * * * * *

    "It was all Mrs. Bumble. She would do it," urged Mr. Bumble; first looking round, to ascertain that his partner had left the room.

    That is no excuse," returned Mr. Brownlow. "You were present on the occasion of the destruction of these trinkets, and, indeed, are the more guilty of the two, in the eye of the law; for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction."

    If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is a arse* — a idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience."
    -- Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

    *The original word in this quote was censored by this forum's software (appearing as "***"), so I have substituted this slang British synonym. -- Pushy

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  2. Wilbur

    Wilbur New Member

    I am sorry to hear about your situation! It sucks that this issue has taken the fun out of having a new car.

    I suppose your CPA has already considered this but couldn't you file an amended 2017 return? Instead of expensing all of the equipment you purchased in 2017, can't you capitalize some of the short lived equipment as assets? You could then claim depreciation expense on future year returns. This way you could use the $7,500 Clarity credit in 2017. It would seem like the CPA cost to re-file would be worth saving the $7,500 credit. I am not an accountant nor do I play one on TV. I may be totally off base here but it would be worth asking your accountant if only claiming some of the equipment as "Section 179" property and not all of it would be a useful strategy.
    dstrauss likes this.
  3. ManKo

    ManKo Member

    If you were to claim the EV credit on your 2018 taxes and you then get audited you would have the contract dated 1/1/18 to present to the IRS. I think if I were in your shoes I would give it a shot.
  4. rodeknyt

    rodeknyt Member

    The case you took to court wasn't really ruled on a "loss" you suffered. That would only come if/when you file next year, take the credit and then get flagged by the IRS (however many months that might be, if ever). That would then create a cause of action (actual loss) and that is when the statute of limitations would begin for that cause of action. Just go ahead, using your 2018 sales contract as proof, and claim the credit when you file your taxes next year. Your first dealing would be with the IRS and you have the contract to show a 2018 sale. You likely wouldn't need to go any further and would not have to take on the dealer a second time.
  5. GTO 409

    GTO 409 Member

    It's a bad situation for sure, but, at one level, the judge's ruling makes sense. You're not out any money —yet — and you did sign a fraudulent document, even if you were misled into doing so.

    However, I agree with those who say claim the credit on next year's 2018 taxes. You have proof you bought the car January 1. It's doubtful the IRS cross-checks the federal tax credit with DMV records.

    In the meantime, send a formal letter to the DMV with a copy of your January 1 contract, stating that the dealer submitted a false date of purchase. Explain that you could NOT have registered a car on December 31 that you didn't even buy until January 1. Send it certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep a copy. Also, contact them via the web, if possible, so that you have an electronic record, too. You want that on the record as added paperwork if needed for the IRS next year. Ask the DMV to change the registration date. Follow up if necessary and insist on it being changed.

    I would send a similar letter and email to the owner of the dealership, as well as Honda National, explaining what happened, and how the registration was submitted falsely. Honda USA may come down on the dealer like a ton of bricks. You should ask the owner to resubmit the registration as being effective January 1.

    Don't expect any action (but if someone helps, that's gravy). The main reason for sending these letters and emails is to establish a paper trail, a record, that the registration date is a falsified one and that you asked for it to be corrected. That could help if the IRS wants documentation.

    If you have a local or regional Consumer Action hotline or an aggressive, pro-consumer state attorney general, contact them as well.

    Good luck! In the meantime, put it behind you and enjoy your new car!
    lordsutch likes this.
  6. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    I would advise not doing this until after you have dealt with the IRS on the tax credit issue. You don’t want the dealership mad at you in case the IRS wants confirmation that you bought it January 1, 2018.

    After it is all said and done I agree I would get the DMV updated and file a complaint over the fraudulent activity of the dealership.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  7. GTO 409

    GTO 409 Member

    The signed contract dated January 1, 2018 should be more than enough confirmation. The dealer needs to be called out on this. Notifying the DMV posthaste establishes a record in advance of any IRS dispute (which is unlikely, in any case).

    If the OP waits, then it will look like a last minute attempt to change the date of purchase for tax purposes. One should always act to redress a wrong as soon as it occurs and to establish a paper trail for any later proceeding. Establishing that with Honda USA, the dealer, and the DMV would be a smart move. In fact, Honda National might force the dealer to submit proper registration dates -- as would an inquiry from a local consumer action group or hotline.
  8. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    @GTO 409 may have hit on an interesting scenario - complain to Honda USA and your local property tax agency - the dealer either snuck the sale in to earn some additional Honda incentives, or to avoid 1/1/18 inventory taxes, or perhaps even both, which should put more squeeze on them than the lawsuit.

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