General Instructions

Purpose of Form

Use Form 2290 for the following actions.

 

  • Figure and pay the tax due on highway motor vehicles used during the period with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more.

  • Figure and pay the tax due on a vehicle for which you completed the suspension statement on another Form 2290 if that vehicle later exceeded the mileage use limit during the period. See Suspended vehicles exceeding the mileage use limit, later.

  • Figure and pay the tax due if, during the period, the taxable gross weight of a vehicle increases and the vehicle falls into a new category. See Line 3, later.

  • Claim suspension from the tax when a vehicle is expected to be used 5,000 miles or less (7,500 miles or less for agricultural vehicles) during the period.

  • Claim a credit for tax paid on vehicles that were destroyed, stolen, sold, or used 5,000 miles or less (7,500 miles or less for agricultural vehicles).

  • Report acquisition of a used taxable vehicle for which the tax has been suspended.

  • Figure and pay the tax due on a used taxable vehicle acquired and used during the period. See Used vehicle, later.

Use Schedule 1 for the following actions. 

  • To report all vehicles for which you are reporting tax (including an increase in taxable gross weight) and those that you are reporting suspension of the tax by category and vehicle identification number (VIN).

  • As proof of payment to register your vehicle(s) (unless specifically exempted) in any state. Use the copy of Schedule 1 stamped and returned to you by the IRS for this purpose.

Use Form 2290-V, Payment Voucher, to accompany your check or money order. Form 2290-V is used to credit your heavy highway vehicle use tax payment to your account. If filing electronically, see How To Make Your Payment, later.

Who Must File

You must file Form 2290 and Schedule 1 for the tax period beginning on July 1, 2014, and ending on June 30, 2015, if a taxable highway motor vehicle (defined below) is registered, or required to be registered, in your name under state, District of Columbia, Canadian, or Mexican law at the time of its first use during the period and the vehicle has a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. See the examples under When To File, later.

You may be an individual, limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or any other type of organization (including nonprofit, charitable, educational, etc.).

Disregarded entities and qualified subchapter S subsidiaries.   Qualified subchapter S subsidiaries (QSubs) and eligible single-owner disregarded entities are treated as separate entities for most excise tax and reporting purposes. QSubs and eligible single-owner disregarded entities must pay and report excise taxes, register for excise tax activities, and claim any refunds, credits, and payments under the entity's employer identification number (EIN). These actions cannot take place under the owner's taxpayer identification number (TIN). Some QSubs and disregarded entities may already have an EIN. However, if you are unsure, please call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax line at 1-800-829-4933. For more information on applying for an EIN, see Employer Identification Number (EIN), later.

  Generally, QSubs and eligible single-owner disregarded entities will continue to be treated as disregarded entities for other federal tax purposes (other than employment taxes). For more information, see Regulations section 301.7701-2(c)(2)(v).

Dual registration.   If a taxable vehicle is registered in the name of both the owner and another person, the owner is liable for the tax. This rule also applies to dual registration of a leased vehicle.

Dealers.   Any vehicle operated under a dealer's tag, license, or permit is considered registered in the name of the dealer.

Used vehicle.   If you acquire and register or are required to register a used taxable vehicle in your name during the tax period, you must keep as part of your records proof showing whether there was a use of the vehicle or a suspension of the tax during the period before the vehicle was registered in your name. The evidence may be a written statement signed and dated by the person (or dealer) from whom you purchased the vehicle.

  
If you acquire a vehicle and use it on the public highways in any month other than July, you are liable for the tax for the prorated tax period. You must file Form 2290 and pay the tax by the last day of the month after the month you first use the vehicle.

  

  If there is an unpaid tax liability for the months before you acquire and use the vehicle during the tax period, you are liable for the total tax for the entire period, to the extent not paid. In that case, you must file Form 2290 and pay the tax by the last day of the month after the month notification is received from the IRS that the tax has not been paid in full.

Logging vehicles.   A vehicle qualifies as a logging vehicle if:

  
  1. It is used exclusively for the transportation of products harvested from the forested site, or it exclusively transports the products harvested from the forested site to and from locations on a forested site (public highways may be used between the forested site locations), and

  2. It is registered (under the laws of the state or states in which the vehicle is required to be registered) as a highway motor vehicle used exclusively in the transportation of harvested forest products. A vehicle will be considered to be registered under the laws of a state as a highway motor vehicle used exclusively in the transportation of harvested forest products if the vehicle is so registered under a state statute or legally valid regulations. In addition, no special tag or license plate identifying a vehicle as being used in the transportation of harvested forest products is required.

  Products harvested from the forested site may include timber that has been processed for commercial use by sawing into lumber, chipping or other milling operations if the processing occurs before transportation from the forested site.

  
Logging vehicles are taxed at reduced rates. See Table II, later.

Taxable Vehicles

Highway motor vehicles that have a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more are taxable.

A highway motor vehicle includes any self-propelled vehicle designed to carry a load over public highways, whether or not also designed to perform other functions. Examples of vehicles that are designed to carry a load over public highways include trucks, truck tractors, and buses. Generally, vans, pickup trucks, panel trucks, and similar trucks are not subject to this tax because they have a taxable gross weight less than 55,000 pounds.

A vehicle consists of a chassis, or a chassis and body, but does not include the load. It does not matter if the vehicle is designed to perform a highway transportation function for only a particular type of load, such as passengers, furnishings, and personal effects (as in a house, office, or utility trailer), or a special kind of cargo, goods, supplies, or materials. It does not matter if machinery or equipment is specially designed (and permanently mounted) to perform some off-highway task unrelated to highway transportation except to the extent discussed later under Vehicles not considered highway motor vehicles.

Use means the use of a vehicle with power from its own motor on any public highway in the United States.

A public highway is any road in the United States that is not a private roadway. This includes federal, state, county, and city roads.

Exemptions.   To be exempt from the tax, a highway motor vehicle must be used and actually operated by:
  • The Federal Government,

  • The District of Columbia,

  • A state or local government,

  • The American National Red Cross,

  • A nonprofit volunteer fire department, ambulance association, or rescue squad,

  • An Indian tribal government but only if the vehicle's use involves the exercise of an essential tribal government function, or

  • A mass transportation authority if it is created under a statute that gives it certain powers normally exercised by the state.

  Also exempt from the tax (not required to file Form 2290) are:
  • Qualified blood collector vehicles (see below) used by qualified blood collector organizations, and

  • Mobile machinery that meets the specifications for a chassis as described under Specially designed mobile machinery for nontransportation functions, later.

Qualified blood collector vehicle.

A qualified blood collector vehicle is a vehicle at least 80% of the use of which during the prior tax period was by a qualified blood collector organization for the collection, storage, or transportation of blood. A vehicle first placed in service in a tax period will be treated as a qualified blood collector vehicle for the tax period if the qualified blood collector organization certifies that the organization reasonably expects at least 80% of the use of the vehicle by the organization during the tax period will be in the collection, storage, or transportation of blood.

Vehicles not considered highway motor vehicles.   Generally, the following kinds of vehicles are not considered highway vehicles.
  1. Specially designed mobile machinery for nontransportation functions. A self-propelled vehicle is not a highway vehicle if all the following apply.

    1. The chassis has permanently mounted to it machinery or equipment used to perform certain operations (construction, manufacturing, drilling, mining, timbering, processing, farming, or similar operations) if the operation of the machinery or equipment is unrelated to transportation on or off the public highways.

    2. The chassis has been specially designed to serve only as a mobile carriage and mount (and power source, if applicable) for the machinery or equipment, whether or not the machinery or equipment is in operation.

    3. The chassis could not, because of its special design and without substantial structural modification, be used as part of a vehicle designed to carry any other load.

  2. Vehicles specially designed for off-highway transportation. A vehicle is not treated as a highway vehicle if the vehicle is specially designed for the primary function of transporting a particular type of load other than over the public highway and because of this special design, the vehicle's capability to transport a load over a public highway is substantially limited or impaired.

    To make this determination, you can take into account the vehicle's size, whether the vehicle is subject to licensing, safety, or other requirements, and whether the vehicle can transport a load at a sustained speed of at least 25 miles per hour. It does not matter that the vehicle can carry heavier loads off highway than it is allowed to carry over the highway.

  3. Nontransportation trailers and semi-trailers. A trailer or semi-trailer will not be treated as a highway vehicle if it is specially designed to function as an enclosed stationary shelter for carrying on a nontransportation function at an off-highway site. For example, a trailer that is capable only of functioning as an office for an off-highway construction operation is not a highway vehicle.

When To File

Form 2290 must be filed for the month the taxable vehicle is first used on public highways during the current period. The current period begins July 1, 2014, and ends June 30, 2015. Form 2290 must be filed by the last day of the month following the month of first use (as shown in the chart below). Note. If any due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, file by the next business day.

If you first use multiple vehicles in more than one month, then a separate Form 2290 must be filed for each month, as shown in Example 3 below.

The filing rules apply whether you are paying the tax or reporting suspension of the tax. The following examples demonstrate these rules.

Example 1.

John uses a taxable vehicle on a public highway July 1, 2014. John must file Form 2290 by August 31, 2014, for the period beginning July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. Because August 31, 2014, falls on a Sunday, John doesn't have to file until the next business day, September 2, 2014 (September 1 is Labor Day, a holiday). To figure the tax, John would use the amounts on Form 2290, page 2, column (1).

Example 2.

John purchases a new taxable vehicle on January 3, 2015. The vehicle is required to be registered in his name. The vehicle is first used on the public highway in January. John must file another Form 2290 reporting the new vehicle by February 28, 2015, for the period beginning July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015. To figure the tax, John would use Table I, later.

Example 3.

All of Trucker A's vehicles are first used in the current period in July, 2014. Because August 31, 2014, falls on a Sunday, Trucker A doesn't have to file until the next business day, September 2, 2014. Trucker A must file one Form 2290 on or before August 31, 2014. Trucker B first uses vehicles on the public highway in July and August. Trucker B must report the vehicle first used in July on the return normally due on August 31, 2014 (actually, September 2, 2014), and the vehicle first used in August on a separate return filed by September 30, 2014.

IF, in this period, the vehicle is first used during ... THEN, file Form 2290 and make your payment by1... and enter this date on Form 2290, line 1
July, 2014 August 31, 2014 201407
August, 2014 September 30, 2014 201408
September, 2014 October 31, 2014 201409
October, 2014 November 30, 2014 201410
November, 2014 December 31, 2014 201411
December, 2014 January 31, 2015 201412
January, 2015 February 28, 2015 201501
February, 2015 March 31, 2015 201502
March, 2015 April 30, 2015 201503
April, 2015 May 31, 2015 201504
May, 2015 June 30, 2015 201505
June, 2015 July 31, 2015 201506
1 File by this date regardless of when state registration for the vehicle is due. If any due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, file by the next business day.

Extension of time to file.   Before the due date of the return, you may request an extension of time to file your return by writing to:

Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Cincinnati, OH 45999-0031

  In your letter, you must fully explain the cause of the delay. Except for taxpayers abroad, the extension may be for no more than 6 months. An extension of time to file does not extend the time to pay the tax. If you want an extension of time to pay, you must request that separately.

How To File

Electronic filing is required for each return reporting 25 or more vehicles. However, all taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically. Electronic filing generally allows for quicker processing of your return. A stamped Schedule 1 can be available within minutes after filing and acceptance by the IRS.

Electronically.   File Form 2290 electronically through any electronic return originator (ERO), transmitter, and/or intermediate service provider (ISP) participating in the IRS e-file program for excise taxes. For more information on e-file, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/efile or visit www.irs.gov/trucker.

Paper.   Mail Form 2290 to the address shown under Where To File. If you did not pay the tax using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), mail Form 2290-V and your check or money order with Form 2290. For more information on payments, see How To Pay The Tax, later.

Where To File

If you are not filing electronically, mail Form 2290 to:

Form 2290 with full payment Internal Revenue Service 
P.O. Box 804525 
Cincinnati, OH 45280-4525
Form 2290 without payment due or using EFTPS for payment  
Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Cincinnati, OH 45999-0031

Private Delivery Services

You can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing/paying” rule for tax returns and payments. These private delivery services include only the following.

  • DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service.

  • Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.

  • United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.

The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.

Private delivery services cannot deliver items to P.O. boxes. You must use the U.S. Postal Service to mail any item to an IRS P.O. box address.

Form 2290 Call Site

You can get immediate help with your Form 2290 questions by calling the Form 2290 call site. The hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., eastern time.

IF you are calling from: THEN use this number:
The United States 866-699-4096 (toll free)
Canada or Mexico 859-669-5733 (not toll free)

The assistor will have access to your Form 2290 account information. Spanish speaking assistors are available. Have your Form 2290 and information about your filing available when you call. For help with other returns filed, taxes paid, etc., call 1-800-829-1040 for individual returns or 1-800-829-4933 for business returns.

Penalties and Interest

If you receive a penalty for filing your return late or paying your tax late and believe you have reasonable cause for doing so, send a letter to the IRS explaining why you believe you have reasonable cause for filing late or paying late. Do not attach an explanation when you file your return.


More Online Instructions