What is IRS Form 2290?

Form 2290 is the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Return. It is the form used to figure out and pay the tax due on motor vehicles operating on public highways with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. The taxation period runs from July 1st to June 30th of the following year and is due by August 31st. However, for first used vehicles your HVUT is due the last day of the month following the first used month. For example, if you first use a new vehicle in April then your 2290 is due by May 31st.

Anyone who is filing a return for 25 or more vehicles is required to file electronically.

The electronic version of IRS Form 2290 will improve excise tax processing, expedite refunds, save personal resources (e.g., time & postage), and reduce preparation and processing errors. Your 2290 Schedule 1 will be available almost immediately (once your return is accepted by the IRS).

What is Heavy Vehicle Use Tax?

The Heavy Vehicle Use Tax is paid by Form 2290 annually for heavy vehicles operating on public highways with registered gross weights equal to or exceeding 55,000 pounds.

How do you determine the gross taxable weight of a vehicle? It’s simple, just add the following:

  • The actual unloaded tare weight of the vehicle fully equipped for service.

  • The actual unloaded weight of any trailers or semi-trailers fully equipped for service customarily used in combination with the vehicle, and

  • The weight of the maximum load customarily carried on the vehicle and on any trailers or semitrailers customarily used in combination with the vehicle.

  • For buses, the taxable gross weight is its actual unloaded weight fully equipped for service, plus 150 pounds for each seat provided for passengers and the driver.

How Are HVUT Form 2290 taxes calculated?

The tax year for Form 2290 starts in July of each year and ends on June 30 of the following year. If the gross taxable weight is between 55,000 to 75,000 pounds, the HVUT is $100, plus $22 per 1,000 pounds over 55,000 pounds.

 

For over 75,000-pound vehicles, the maximum HVUT is $550 per year. The taxes are lower for logging vehicles—vehicles primarily used for exclusive transport of products harvested from the forest and that are registered with a state agency as such.

The table below shows the taxes for logging and regular trucks:

For any vehicles placed into service after July, the taxes are prorated.

Are there any HVUT exemptions?

There are a number of groups that receive exemptions from the HVUT, including:

  • The Federal Government

  • State or local governments, including the District of Columbia

  • The American Red Cross

  • Nonprofit volunteer fire departments, ambulance associations, or rescue squads

  • Indian tribal governments (for vehicles used in essential tribal government functions)

  • Mass transportation authorities

There are also a number of vehicles exempted from the HVUT:

  • Vehicles not considered highway motor vehicles - e.g., mobile machinery for non-transportation functions, vehicles specifically designed for off-highway transportation, non-transportation trailers, and semi-trailers

  • Qualified blood collector vehicles used by qualified blood collecting organizations

  • Mobile machinery that is used for non-transportation purposes

Exempt carriers may be required to file tax forms with the IRS or notify the local department of motor vehicles (DMV) of the exempt status being claimed.

There are other vehicles that are exempt based on the number of miles it is driven:

  • Commercial vehicles traveling fewer than 5,000 miles annually

  • Agriculture vehicles traveling fewer than 7,500 miles annually

The vehicles above are called Suspended Vehicles but must be reported to the IRS.

The vehicles above are called Suspended Vehicles but must be reported to the IRS.

Why do I have to pay an HVUT?

The HVUT is a significant source of transportation funding in the U.S. In 2006 the HVUT generated more than $1.4 billion in Federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenue.

The Federal HTF protects the nation's investment in our transportation infrastructure. In 2007 Federal HTF receipts topped $39.9 billion, with $34.9 billion dedicated to the HTF's Highway Account. The Federal HTF finances a broad spectrum of transportation investments, including:

  • Highway improvements (e.g., land acquisition and other right-of-way costs, preliminary and construction engineering, construction and reconstruction, resurfacing and restoration costs of roadways and bridges)

  • Highway and bridge maintenance

  • Highway law enforcement

  • Safety programs (e.g., driver education and training, vehicle inspection programs, enforcement of vehicle size, and weight limits)

  • Congestion relief projects

  • Debt service

  • Administrative costs (e.g., research, engineering)

Investing in our nation's highway infrastructure helps:

  • Save lives, time, and money

  • Reduce the number and severity of crashes for all kinds of vehicles

  • Enhance the ability of the entire community of emergency responders

  • Lower fuel and insurance costs

  • Increase mobility

  • Ease congestion

  • Decrease energy consumption

  • Boost air quality

  • Improve the transportation of goods

  • Raise business productivity

  • Strengthen the nation's economic productivity

Since the vast majority of all funds contributed by states to the Federal HTF are returned through highway fund apportionments, there is a direct incentive for state agencies to take necessary actions to enhance HVUT compliance.

Taxpayers filing Form 2290 reporting 25 or more vehicles for any taxable period are required to file Form 2290 online with an IRS authorized e-file provider.