January 14, 2021
The United States federal heavy vehicle use tax (HVUT) must be filed by motor carriers operating vehicles that have a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. To register, Form 2290 must be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Following the five steps below can make quick work of filing your returns.
Any carrier, including an owner-operator, must have an employer identification number (EIN) to file Form 2290. Using a personal social security number is not allowed. If you or your company don’t have an EIN, you can apply for one online at IRS.gov/EIN.
Vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more (including trucks, tractors, and buses) being used on a public roadway are subject to the HVUT tax. The tax applies to both interstate and intrastate operations.
If you believe that you’ll operate your taxable vehicle 5,000 miles or less during the tax year (7,500 miles for agricultural vehicles), you can claim a suspension of tax. You’re still required to file Form 2290, but no tax payment is required.
Form 2290 must be submitted by the end of the month following the month the vehicle was first operated on a public highway. For example, if the vehicle was first operated on a public highway during October, Form 2290 must be filed by November 30. After your initial filing, taxes on all qualified vehicles must be filed each year by August 31.
Carriers filing a return for 25 or more vehicles are required to use the IRS e-file program. However, any carrier can — and is encouraged by the IRS — to file electronically. The benefit to e-filing is that the stamped Schedule 1 (your proof of tax payment) can be available within minutes of the IRS accepting your return.
Following these five steps when filing Form 2290 is a key part of keeping your fleet of vehicles compliant