Figuring out the Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) and Form 2290 can be a challenge – but it’s legally required for all heavy vehicles.
This guide covers all the info you need to know about the HVUT, Form 2290, the Schedule 1 required in every vehicle, due dates, and more.
We also researched all the IRS-approved e-file providers to find the best options. Here our are top recommendations.
The Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax is a federal annual tax on heavy vehicles over 55,000 pounds that run on US highways (see more on whether it applies to you later on in this post).
Paid annually by the owner of taxable heavy vehicles, the tax is calculated based on the vehicle’s weight. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses the funds generated to fund the construction and maintenance of highways across the country.
Form 2290, also known as Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return, is the form used to calculate and report HVUT to the IRS.
Owners and owner operators of heavy vehicles need to fill and send in the 2290 Form every year by the appropriate deadlines (see below). Form 2290 is used to figure and pay the taxes on applicable vehicles that are acquired and used during the period (some exemptions apply).
Filling in Form 2290 will require motor carriers and owner operators to provide key information about their vehicle(s) to calculate how much they owe. Once paid, the IRS returns a Schedule 1 document, a printed version of which the taxable vehicles will need to carry at all times.
Owners of heavy vehicles (over 55,000 lbs) used on public highways need to file Form 2290.
The amount owed is calculated based on the vehicles’ gross weight (including any trailers, load, and cargo). HHVUT applies regardless of the state where the vehicle is registered and/or operated.
The tax applies to heavy vehicles including trucks, buses, and trailers. Exemptions include:
If you believe an exemption applies to you, make sure you double-check with IRS or a tax consultant.
Every time a new vehicle is added to the fleet (whether it was purchased new or used), Form 2290 needs to be filed to calculate and report taxes to the IRS. A stamped copy of Schedule 1 will be required as proof of payment when registering vehicles.
It’s important to note that HHVUT also applies to Canadian or Mexican vehicles that intend to enter the United States as proof of payment (e.g. a stamped copy of Schedule 1) will be required by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
When is Form 2290 due?When Form 2290 is due depends on when the vehicle was first used. Owners must file by the last day of the following month.
For example, if a vehicle is first used in July, Form 2290 must be filed by August 31st.
For domestic taxpayers, it is possible to request a 6-month extension of the time to file your return. See details at IRS.gov. It is recommended to file Form 2290 at least five business days before the filing deadline.
For vehicle owners, HVUT fees depend on the number of taxable vehicles they operate on US highways and the gross taxable weight of each vehicle.
To calculate fees, add up the unloaded gross weight of the vehicle, the unloaded weight of any trailers typically used with the vehicle, and the heaviest load typically transported. Based on that weight:
Form 2290 provides a useful table to help compute taxes:
In general, Form 2290 can either be returned to the IRS by mail or via e-filing. Not only is the latter preferred, but when filing for 25 or more taxed vehicles, e-file is actually mandatory. With a smaller fleet, owners can opt to mail in Form 2290 to the following addresses:
The first step when filing From 2290 is to gather all the relevant information, including:
For e-filing, it’s important to know that forms cannot be e-filed directly to the IRS. Instead, it requires choosing from a number of approved commercial e-file providers (find the list here). Prices between these providers vary, and it pays to shop around:
There are also multiple payment options when filing Form 2290.
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 932500
Louisville, KY 40293-2500
Form 2290 Schedule 1 is the stamped document that serves as proof of payment for the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax.
Every heavy vehicle needs to carry a printed and stamped copy of Schedule 1 at all times, which serves as evidence that the HVUT tax has been paid.
When using e-form to file Form 2290, the IRS will return a watermarked Schedule 1 in minutes. When mailing in Form 2290, the stamped Schedule 1 may take up to six weeks to arrive.
It depends on how you file your Form 2290. When mailing Form 2290 to the IRS, it can take up to 6 weeks to receive a stamped Schedule 1.
Since vehicles can’t legally run on US highways without a stamped copy of Schedule 1, this delay can be prohibitive. To get access to your Schedule 1 faster, use e-filing to receive a stamped copy of your Schedule 1 in minutes.
You’ll use Form 2290 amendment when information for one or more of your vehicles filed with Form 2290 changes (for example, when a vehicle’s maximum load increases, making the vehicle fall into another taxable gross weight category).
You can also use Form 2290 amendment to correct any incorrectly or inaccurately reported information.
Yes, Form 2290 needs to be filed every year. When the form is due will depend on the when the vehicle was first used. See deadlines above for more information.
The penalty for failing to file Form 2290 before the deadline is 4.5% of the total tax due. The penalty is added up for 5 months. In addition, IRS also charges a monthly interest rate of 0.5% for the total tax due.
If you don’t run your truck for the duration of the entire tax period (July 1st through June 30), you don’t have to file Form 2290.
Yes, you can mail in a paper copy of your Form 2290 return to IRS. If you plan to use e-file, you’ll have to contact one of the approved commercial e-file providers (find the list here) as you cannot e-file forms directly with the IRS.
What you’ll really want is a copy (in fact, several copies) of your Schedule 1 stamped by the IRS. If you’ve paper-filed your Form 2290, you can request a copy of Schedule 1 through fax or written request. When e-filing, your selected provider will automatically send you the IRS watermarked Schedule 1 via email.
VIN stands for vehicle identification number and is a unique 17-character code used to identify specific vehicles. It is also known as the chassis number or frame number.
No, you cannot use a social security number to complete a Form 2290 return.