January 14, 2021
Motor carriers operating vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more must file the United States federal heavy vehicle use tax (HVUT). The tax period runs from July 1 through June 30, and the tax must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) annually by August 31.
There will be times, however, that your operations may require you to file an additional or amended return. Outlined below are some of the more common reasons you may need to file the HVUT Form 2290 more than once per year.
As a general rule, Form 2290 must be submitted by the end of the month following the month the vehicle was first operated on a public highway. So, if a taxable vehicle — which wasn’t reported on your annual filing — is placed into service during the reporting period, you must file an additional Form 2290 and Schedule 1 and pay the tax due.
For example, you purchase a taxable vehicle on December 5, register the vehicle and use that vehicle on a public roadway for the first time in December. In this case, you must account for the HVUT due by filing a 2290 Form and Schedule 1 and pay the tax due before January 31. Since it’s a partial-year filing, you pay a prorated tax.
The HVUT can be suspended for a tax period for any vehicle you believe will travel 5,000 miles or less during the tax year (7,500 miles for agricultural vehicles). However, if you end up operating the vehicle more than 5,000/7,500 miles during the tax year, at that point you must file an amendment to your original filing and pay the tax on that vehicle for the entire year.
If you increase the taxable gross weight on a vehicle during the reporting year, you must submit an amended return. When filing, list the new weight for any vehicles that have had an increase and submit the difference in tax owed for the new vehicle weight.
Mistakes and number transpositions do happen. If you find that an error was made when listing a vehicle identification number (VIN), list the correct number on an amended return. No additional tax is due at this point, but you should attach an explanation to the return regarding the correction.
More often than not, you will likely file your HVUT return once per year. But, when changes occur within your operation, you may be required to file an additional or amended return.