June 8, 2015

2290 Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Return

It’s that time of year when you need to start thinking about filing your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) form.  The 2290 form is for anyone who owns and operates a heavy motor vehicle and drives on public roads. You pay it, but do you know what the HVUT is actually for or what the weight requirements are before you file tax form 2290?

What is the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Return?

Tax form 2290 is a Federal Excise Tax made for vehicles operating on public highways with a gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. These annual taxes help pay for highway maintenance by contributing to the Highway Trust Fund. The need to collect revenue with the HVUT is because the weight of the trucks causes stress on the roadways. With the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), states are reimbursed for maintenance projects that keep the highways drivable.

How is the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Determined?

Anyone who owns and operates a heavy vehicle with a gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more is responsible for filing Form 2290. The tax amount is based on the gross weight of the vehicle and will vary from $100 to $550 per truck.

You can determine the gross taxable weight of your vehicle by adding together:

  • The actual unloaded weight of the vehicle fully equipped for service.
  • The actual unloaded weight of any trailers or semitrailers fully equipped for service used in combination with the vehicle.
  • The weight of the maximum load usually carried on the vehicle and on any other trailers used in combination with the vehicle.

After you calculate the weight of your truck, you can determine the cost of your HVUT. The tax starts out at $100 for 55,000 pounds. Each additional 1,000 pounds is an extra $22 of tax. The maximum taxable weight caps at 75,000 pounds, which means the most you’d pay is $550.

How to File Form 2290

You must file Form 2290 by the last day of the month following the month of first use, during the current tax period. Normally the tax year filing period starts July 1st to June 30th of next year. It is due by August 31st. If any due date falls on a weekend or a federal holiday, you should file by the next business day.

At Motor Carrier HQ, we can help you make sure the tax is paid correctly and only for the vehicles you are required to pay it on, saving you time and money. We will be sending out instructions to help you pay the heavy vehicle use tax within the next two weeks. Keep your eye open for it. As always, you can give us a call with any questions at 866-739-2032.

The tax funds accumulated in the Highway Tax Fund are dispersed to each state. Those states use the funds to maintain and build public roads. So while you’re on the road pulling your heavy freight, remember your heavy vehicle use tax is helping keep you and your fellow drivers safe.

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