Form 2290: Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return

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If you plan on operating a vehicle that can be used to carry a load across a public highway then it is up to you to determine whether or not your vehicle falls under the category of heavy highway vehicle or a standard vehicle. If it turns out that you do own a heavy highway vehicle then you will be required by the IRS to fill out a form 2290 for each year you are in possession of that vehicle.


What is a Heavy Highway Motor Vehicle?

According to the IRS, “A highway motor vehicle includes any self-propelled vehicle designed to carry a load over public highways, whether or not it is designed to perform other functions.” Some examples of vehicles designed to carry loads over public highways are tractors, buses, and trucks.


What is a Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax?

The heavy vehicle use tax, HVUT, is a fee assessed to vehicles that operate on public highways at a weight that is equal to or greater than 55,000 pounds. This vehicle must be in use and in order to be considered in use a vehicle must be using its own motor in order to function and get around. If you have a heavy highway motor vehicle that you use on the roads with a weight of 55,000 pounds or more you must file a Form 2290 and pay the associated fees.


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What is a Heavy Highway Vehicle Owner Responsible for?

As the owner of a heavy vehicle it is your responsibility to:

· Figure out and pay the total tax due on your vehicle while it was used during the tax period

· Claim a suspension from the tax if you expect to use your vehicle for less than 5,000 miles during the period

· Claim a credit for any taxes that were paid on vehicles that were sold, stolen, destroyed or used for 5,000 miles or less

· Report the purchase of a used taxable vehicle that has been suspended


Are There any Exemptions to the Tax?

In order to be exempt from the IRS 2290 tax a highway motor vehicle must actually be used and operated by:

·         A state or local government

·         The Federal Government

·         The District of Columbia

·         The American National Red Cross

·         A nonprofit volunteer fire department or rescue unit

·         An Indian tribal government that uses the vehicle for essential tribal needs

·         Blood collector organizations that are qualified to use blood collector vehicles


What if My Vehicles’ Status Changes?

If you intend on using your heavy highway vehicle for 5,000 miles or less then you will need to claim a suspension for your vehicle. If that vehicle exceeds 5,000 miles in that tax period then the tax becomes due. You can also claim a credit for any tax you paid on a vehicle that is sold, stolen, destroyed or used for 5,000 miles or less.

Heavy vehicles and their drivers are the world’s saviors. They bring food to stores from the manufacturers. Transport heavy machinery that no other type of vehicle can carry. At the end of the day, these vehicles hold a huge responsibility in maintaining the highway by filing their returns accurately and on time.

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