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  • Local Standards: Vehicle Ownership/Lease expense allowance -- contingent on existence of loan or lease obligation? (i.e. if owned free and clear)

    The Supreme Court ruled in January 2011, that the Means Test Vehicle Ownership allowance is contingent on existence of loan or lease obligation. In other words, if you own a vehicle "free and clear" and are not making any payments, you cannot claim the ownership deduction. (Ransom v. FIA Card Services, __ U.S. ___ (S.Ct 2011 ) )

    Before the Supreme Court settled the issue, lower courts were split on this question.

    Note that lower court cases that deny the allowance often mention that debtors can claim a $200 extra operation deduction for vehicles over six years old with more than 75K miles (based on the IRS practice of doing the same).

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