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Deadline Nears for Federal Highway Use Tax Returns

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Aug 9th 2016
Staff Writer and Editor AccountingWEB
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A key tax deadline is approaching for clients who are truck drivers or who own other heavy highway vehicles. They must file their next federal highway use tax return by Aug. 31.

The deadline generally applies to Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return, and the accompanying tax payment for the tax year that begins July 1, 2016, and ends June 30, 2017.

Returns must be filed and tax payments made by Aug. 31 for vehicles used on the road during July. For vehicles first used after July, the deadline is the last day of the month following the month of first use.

The highway use tax applies to highway motor vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. This generally includes trucks, truck tractors, and buses. Vans, pickups, and panel trucks are usually not taxable because they fall below the 55,000-pound threshold.

The tax of up to $550 per vehicle is based on weight, and a variety of special rules apply, which are explained in the instructions to Form 2290.

Form 2290 should be used to:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Though some taxpayers have the option of filing Form 2290 on paper, the IRS is encouraging them to file this form electronically and pay any tax due electronically. Taxpayers reporting 25 or more vehicles must e-file. A list of IRS-approved e-file providers can be found on IRS.gov.

By filing Form 2290 electronically, taxpayers can receive their IRS-stamped Schedule 1 minutes after e-filing. Schedule 1 can also be printed and provided to the state department of motor vehicles without visiting an IRS office. If taxpayers choose to visit their local office, be aware that many Taxpayer Assistance Centers now operate by scheduled appointments. Taxpayers can use the Taxpayer Assistance Center Office Locator to find out if an appointment is required at their local office.

More information can be found on the Trucking Tax Center page on the IRS website.

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