Filing the Form 2290 is not too complex of a task, but it is always reassuring to have access to step-by-step instructions for anything that has to be submitted to the federal government, especially when it involves a person’s expenses and finances. This article will walk all Form 2290 filers through the entire filing process from beginning to end, so that they can accurately complete the required document.
The Form 2290 revolves around three different components: the filer’s employer identification number, the vehicle identification numbers for all of the vehicles and the taxable gross weights of all of the vehicles.
The employer identification number is an IRS-provided number that is used to identify a business entity and can be obtained online for free through this website. The vehicle identification number is specific to every heavy vehicle registered through one’s local Department of Motor Vehicle office. It is generally 17 characters composed of both numbers and
letters and can be obtained from the registration, title, or actual vehicle. It is imperative that filers’ use the VIN for the vehicle and not from the trailer. The taxable gross weight of a vehicle is the aggregation of the following three: the actual unloaded weight of the vehicle fully equipped for service, the actual unloaded weight of any trailers/semitrailers 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/semitrailers customarily used in combination with the vehicle. Various states have different methods for vehicle registration that relates to weight: by specific gross weight, by gross weight category, by actual unloaded weight and then there are special permits.
I. Completing the Form 2290.
Basic Information. Filers must first accurately input basic information regarding the business and the person who is filing so that they can appropriately locate the respective business in their system. The filer should input the address of their business and make it as specific as possible when it comes to building and suite number. If the address is located in either Mexico or Canada, please ensure to put in the necessary location information in this order: city, province/state, country (full country name) and follow the country’s practice for entering the postal code.
Now the filer is presented with a few options that better classify their Form 2290: Address Change, VIN Correction, Amended Return & Final Return. If the business’s address has changed since the filer has last filed the Form 2290, then it is imperative that the filer check that box. If a filer has already filed a Form 2290 for a specific vehicle, but the VIN must be corrected, then that filer must check that box. If any changes have taken place within a given tax period regarding the amount of vehicles needing filing, change of mileage for a vehicle, or a change in taxable gross weight, then the filer must check the respective box. If a filer knows that this will be the last time their company will be filing a Form 2290 because their vehicle(s) will be sold at the end of the tax period, then the filer must check in the given box.
Figuring the Tax
Column 1: Annual Tax. In order to figure the tax needed on line 2, the filer must complete the Tax Computation on Form 2290, which is located on page 2. The filer should make sure they do not use line 2 to report additional tax from an increase in taxable gross weight; instead, report the additional tax on line 3. For all vehicles used in the month of July, utilize the tax amounts listed in column 1(a) for the total annual tax needing payment.
Logging vehicles. For all logging vehicles beginning use in the month of July, utilize the tax amounts listed in column 1(b). For additional information on these vehicles, see Logging vehicles under Who Must File, earlier.
Column 2: Partial-period tax. If the vehicle is first used in a month after July, the tax is then based on the number of months remaining in the tax period. See Table I, later, for the partial-period tax table. Enter the tax amount due in column 2(a) for the applicable category.
Logging vehicles. For all logging vehicles, see Table II later, for the partial-period tax table. Enter the tax amount due in column 2(b) for the applicable category.
Column 3: Number of vehicles. Now, enter the number of vehicles for categories A-V in the respective column. Add the number of vehicles in columns 3(a) and 3(b), categories A-V, and enter the combined number on the total line in column 3. For category W, input the number of suspended vehicles in the respective column.
Column 4: Amount of tax. Here is where the mathematics comes in. Multiply the applicable tax amount by the number of vehicles. Aggregate all amounts in a category and input the resulting amount in column 4. Then, add the tax amounts in column 4 for categories A-V, and input the total tax amount due.
Line 3. Additional Tax From Increase in Taxable Gross Weight.
Line 3 only needs to be completed if the taxable gross weight of a vehicle increases during the period and the vehicle falls into a new category. For example, an increase in maximum load customarily carried may most likely change the taxable gross weight. The filer must then report the additional tax for the remainder of the tax period on Form 2290, line 3. Make sure not to report any tax on line 2 unless other taxable vehicles are being reported in addition to the vehicle(s) with the increased taxable gross weight. Then check the Amended Return box and to the right of Amended Return, write the month the taxable gross weight increased. File the Form 2290 and Schedule-1 by the last day of the month following the month in which the taxable gross weight increased.
Figure the additional tax using the following worksheet. Attach a copy of the worksheet for each vehicle.
1. Input the month the taxable gross weight rose. Enter the month here and on Form 2290, line 1.
2. Determine the new taxable gross weight category of the vehicle on page 2. Then go to the Partial-Period Tax Tables. Find the month entered on line 1 above. Read down the column to the new category; this is the new tax. Enter the correct amount here. $
3. On the Partial-Period Tax Tables, later, locate the tax amount under that month for the previous category reported. $
4. Additional tax. Subtract line 3 from line 2 and then enter the additional tax here and on Form 2290, line 3. $
If the increase in taxable gross weight occurs in July after the filer has filed their return, use the amounts on Form 2290, page 2, for the new category instead of the partial-period tax tables.
Line 5. Credits.
Line 5 only needs to be completed if the filer is claiming a credit for tax paid on a vehicle that was either: sold, destroyed or stolen before June 1st and not used during the remainder of the period, or used during the prior period 5,000 miles or less (7,500 miles or less for agricultural vehicles). A credit, lower tax, exemption, or refund is not allowed for an occasional light or decreased load or a discontinued or changed use of the vehicle.
The tax credit amount claimed on line 5 cannot exceed the tax reported on line 4. Any tax credit that exceeds the amount on line 4 must be claimed as a refund using the Form 8849: Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes, and Schedule 6, Other Claims. Also, utilize Schedule 6 to make a claim for an overpayment due to a mistake in tax liability previously reported on Form 2290. See When to make a claim, below.
Information to be submitted. On a separate piece of paper, provide an explanation detailing the information for each credit. For vehicles destroyed, stolen, or sold include: the VIN, taxable gross weight category, date of the accident, theft, or sale, and a copy of the worksheet under Figuring the credit below. A vehicle is considered destroyed when it is damaged by accident or other casualty to the extent that it is not economical to rebuild.
Figuring the credit.Compute the number of months and find the taxable gross weight category of the vehicle before you complete the worksheet provided below. In order to find out the number of months of use, begin counting from the first day of the month in the period in which the vehicle was first used to the last day of the month in which it was destroyed, stolen, or sold. Then, find the number of months of use in the Partial-Period Tax Tables, later (the number of months is shown in parentheses at the top of the table next to each month).
1. Enter the tax previously reported for the vehicle that was either destroyed, stolen or sold on Form 2290, line 4. $
2. Partial-period tax. On the Partial-Period Tax Tables, later, locate where the taxable gross weight category and months of use meet and enter the tax here. $
3. Credit. Subtract line 2 from line 1 and then enter the amount here on line 5 of Form 2290. $
The credit for each vehicle must be calculated separately
Vehicles used less than the mileage use limit. If the heavy vehicle use tax has been paid for a period on a vehicle that is used 5,000 miles or less (7,500 miles or less for agricultural vehicles), the filer who paid the tax may then claim for the tax credit.
When to make a claim. Vehicles destroyed, stolen or sold before June 1, a credit for tax paid can be claimed on the next Form 2290 filed or a refund of tax paid can be claimed through the Form 8849.
Vehicles used 5,000 miles or less (7,500 miles or less for agricultural vehicles) during the period, a credit for tax paid can be claimed on the first Form 2290 filed for the following tax period. By the same token, a refund for the tax paid cannot be claimed on Form 8849 until the end of the Form 2290 tax period. For instance, if the tax was paid for the period between July 1st, 2011 through June 30th, 2012, for a vehicle that was used for 5,000 miles or less during the period, a credit on Form 2290 (or refund on Form 8849) will not be available to be claimed until after June 30th, 2012.
II. Statement in Support of Suspension.
Line 7. Complete line 7 in order to suspend the tax on vehicles expected to be used less than the mileage use limit during a period. The filer must also: list the vehicles on which the tax is suspended in Schedule 1 and must also count the number of tax-suspended vehicles, which are designated by Category “W”, listed in Part I of Schedule 1 and then enter the number on line b of Part II of Schedule 1.
Line 8. If any of the vehicles listed as suspended in the prior period exceeded the mileage use limit, then check the box on line 8a and list the vehicle identification numbers for those respective vehicles on line 8b. Attach a separate sheet if need be.
Line 9. If in the past period, Form 2290, line 7 was completed and the tax-suspended vehicles were sold or transferred, complete line 9.
Sales. If a filer sells a vehicle while under suspension, a statement must be given to the buyer and must show the seller’s name, address, and EIN; VIN; date of the sale; odometer reading at the beginning of the period; odometer reading at the time of sale; and the buyer’s name, address and EIN. The buyer must attach this statement to Form 2290 and file the return by the date shown in the table under When to File, earlier. If, after the sale, the use of the vehicle surpasses the mileage use limit for the period, and the former owner has provided the required statement, the new owner is then liable for the tax on the vehicle. If the former owner HAS NOT furnished the required statement to the new owner, the former owner is then also liable for the tax during that period. See Suspended Vehicles exceeding the mileage use limit, below.
Suspended vehicles exceeding the mileage use limit. Once a suspended vehicle surpasses the mileage limit, the tax immediately becomes due. The mileage use limit basically means that the use of a vehicle on public highways 5,000 miles or less (7,500 miles or less for agricultural vehicles). The mileage use limit applies to the total mileage a vehicle is used during a given period, regardless of the number of owners.
Figure the tax on Form 2290, page 2, based on the month the vehicle was first used in the respective period. The tax can be reported on Form 2290, line 2. Check the Amended Return box on page 1 and to the right of Amended Return, put the month in which the mileage use limit was surpassed. Do not complete Form 2290, Part II. File the amended Form 2290 & Schedule 1 by the last day of the month following the month that the mileage use limit was exceeded.
Agricultural vehicles. An agricultural vehicle is any highway motor vehicle that is: used (or expected to be used) for the purpose of farming, and registered under state laws as a highway motor vehicle utilized for farming purposes for a given period. Vehicles can be considered used primarily for farming purposes if more than half of the vehicle’s use (based on mileage) during the period is for farming work.
Filers should not take into account the number of miles the vehicle is used on the farm when determining if the 7,500-mile limit on the public highways has been surpassed. Maintain accurate records of the miles that a vehicle is used on a farm.
Farming purposes include the transporting of any farm commodity to or from a farm, or the use directly in agricultural production. Farm commodity means any agricultural or horticultural commodity, feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock, bees, poultry, fur-bearing animals, or wild life. A farm commodity excludes commodities that have been changed by a processing operation from its raw or natural state. Farm commodity means any agricultural or horticultural commodity, feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock, bees, poultry, fur-bearing animals, or wildlife. A farm commodity does not include a commodity that has been changed by a processing operation from its raw or natural state.
III. How To Pay the Tax.
Filers can pay the heavy vehicle use tax through one of the three following options: Electronic funds withdrawal if filling electronically, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, Check or money order using the payment voucher. However, filers must pay their tax in full with the Form 2290.
How to make the payment.
Electronic funds withdrawal (direct debit). If a filer is filing their Form 2290 electronically by way of e-filing, they are able to authorize a direct debit payment. For additional information on e-filing, please visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/efile.
Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. The EFTPS is completely voluntary; however, those who wish to use it must enroll before use. To get additional information or to enroll in EFTPS, visit the website at www.eftps.gov or call 1-800-555-4477. If you choose to make your payment through EFTPS, do not include the payment voucher. If filing a paper Form 2290, mail the Form 2290 to: Department of Treasury – Internal Revenue Service Cincinnati, OH 45999-0031
Paying on time. In order for EFTPS payments to be on time, the filer must initiate the transaction at least one business day before the date the payment is due. If a filer elects to pay through check or money order, they must complete the payment voucher, which is located at the bottom of the Form 2290. Cash is not accepted! Make checks and money orders payable to “United States Treasury,” and write the applicable name, address, EIN, “Form 2290,” and the date (as entered in Box 3) on your payment.
Detach the voucher and send it in with the completed Form 2290, both copies of Schedule 1, as well as the payment. If the Form 2290 was filed electronically, do not send the Form 2290 and the Schedule 1 with the payment voucher. Do not staple the voucher either.
Payment voucher. Complete the Form 2290-V, Payment Voucher: If the Form 2290 is being prepared by a third party, it is essential that the payment voucher be provided to the return preparer.
1. In Box 1: Enter the applicable EIN.
2. In Box 2: Enter the tax amount to be paid with the Form 2290.
3. In Box 3: Enter the same date that was entered on Form 2290, Part I, line 1.
4. In Box 4: Enter the respective name and address as shown on Form 2290. Print the name clearly.
Schedule 1 (Form 2290). The filer should complete and file both copies of the Schedule 1. The second copy will be stamped and returned as proof of payment. The return can be rejected if the Schedule 1 is not attached to the Form 2290.
E-file. If the filer chooses to complete the Form 2290 electronically, a copy of the Schedule-1 with an IRS watermark will be sent to the ERO, transmitter, and/or ISP electronically. Ask the ERO, transmitter, and/or ISP for the original electronic copy of the Schedule-1.
Note. In order to receive a copy of a prior-period Schedule 1 returned, one must send a written request to: Department of the Treasury – Internal Revenue Service Cincinnati, OH 45999-0031.
Name and Address. Enter the name and address on the Schedule-1 exactly as shown on the Form 2290. See Name & Address, earlier.
1. Enter by category the VIN of each vehicle being reported for the tax. Failure to include the full VIN may prevent a taxpayer from registering their vehicle with the state.
2. Complete as follows:
a. Enter on line a the total vehicles reported on Form 2290, page 2.
b. Enter on line b the total number of taxable vehicles on which the tax is suspended, reported on Form 2290, page 2, column (3), category W.
c. Enter on line c the total number of taxable vehicles (subtract line b from line a).
Proof of payment for state registration. Typically, states will need verification of payment of the heavy vehicle use tax for any taxable vehicle before they will complete the registration for a vehicle. Use the stamped copy of the Schedule-1 as proof of payment when: registering vehicles with the state, or entering a Canadian or Mexican vehicle into the United States.
If the vehicle operator does not have the stamped copy, they may use a photocopy of Form 2290, Schedule 1 and both sides of their canceled check as proof of payment.
No proof of payment is necessary for a newly purchased vehicle, if an operator presents a copy of the bill of sale showing that the vehicle was purchased within the last 60 days to the state. However, they must file a return and pay any tax due. See When to File, earlier.
A few states have agreed to participate in an alternate proof of payment program with the IRS. In those states, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may forward the return to the IRS if certain requirements are met. If the Form 2290 is given (with voucher and payment) to the DMV to be forwarded to the IRS, no further proof of payment is needed to register the vehicle. Contact the local DMV to see if your state participates in this program.
If the operator gives the DMV their Form 2290 to forward, their return is not considered filed until the IRS receives it. The taxpayer is responsible for any penalties or interest if the return is filed late or lost by the DMV.
IV. Schedule 1 (Form 2290), Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information.
A handful of states are participating in the electronic sharing of information reported on Form 2290 and Schedule I. The information shared includes the VINs for all vehicles reported on the Schedule-1 & verification that the operator paid the tax reported on line 6 of Form 2290. This information will also be shared with the Department of Transportation, US Customs & Border Protection, state Departments of Motor Vehicles and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. However, the IRS needs your consent to release this information. If the taxpayer agrees to have the information released, please sign and date the consent. Then they should check with their state to determine if it is participating in the program and if they are still required to submit a Stamped Schedule-1 as proof of payment.
Third Party Designee. If the taxpayer would like to allow an employee of their business, a return preparer, or a third party to discuss their Form 2290 with the IRS, check the “Yes” box in the “Third Party Designee” section of the Form 2290. Also, enter the designee’s name, phone number and any five digits that person chooses as his or her personal identification number (PIN). The authorization applies only to the tax return on which it appears.
By selecting the “Yes” box, the taxpayer is authorizing the IRS to speak with the designee to answer any questions relating to the information reported on the Form 2290. The taxpayer is also authorizing the designee to: exchange information concerning the Form 2290 with the IRS, and request/receive written tax return information relating to Form 2290, including copies of notices, correspondence, and account transcripts. However, the taxpayer is not authorizing the designee to bind the taxpayer to anything (including additional tax liability) or otherwise represent the taxpayer before the IRS. If the taxpayer wants to expand the designee’s authority, see Pub. 947, Practice Before the IRS & Power of Attorney.
The authorization will automatically expire a year from the due date (without regard to extensions) for filing the Form 2290. If the taxpayer or their designee wants to revoke this authorization, then send a written statement of revocation to: Department of the Treasury – Internal Revenue Service Cincinnati, OH 45999.
Signature. Returns filed without a signature will be returned back to the taxpayer/filer for signing. An unsigned return is not considered filed.
Recordkeeping. It is important that taxpayers keep records for all taxable highway vehicles registered in their name for at least three years after the date the tax is due or paid, whichever is later. In the case that the IRS runs an inspection, these records must be available. Also, keep copies of all returns and schedules that have been filed. Keep records even if a vehicle is registered under the taxpayer’s name for only a portion of a period. If the tax is suspended on a highway motor vehicle for a period because its use on the national roadways during the period did not surpass 5,000 miles (7,500 miles for agricultural vehicles), the registrant must keep the records at least three years after the end of the period to which the suspension applies.
All of the following information should be included in the taxpayer’s records for each vehicle:
1. A detailed description of the vehicle, including the VIN
2. The weight of loads carried by the vehicle in the same form as required by any state in which the vehicle is registered or required to be registered.
3. The weight of loads carried by the vehicle in the same form as required by any state in which the vehicle is registered or required to be registered.
4. The date the vehicle was obtained and the name/address of the person from whom you acquired it.
5. The first month of each period in which a taxable use occurred and any prior month in which the vehicle was utilized in the period while registered under the taxpayer’s name, with proof that the prior use was not a taxable use.
6. The date in which the vehicle was sold/transferred and the name and address of the purchaser or transferee. If it was not sold, the records must show how and when the taxpayer disposed of it.
7. If the tax is suspended for a vehicle, keep a record of actual highway mileage. For an agricultural vehicle, keep accurate records of the number of miles it is driven on a farm. See Part II. Statement in Support of Suspension, earlier.