Posted by Larry Hurt

Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return (Form 2290)

Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return (Form 2290)

The heavy highway vehicle use tax return (HVUT) is an annual tax levied on public vehicles on highways. For these vehicles, the taxable gross weight must be equal to or more than 55,000 pounds. Vehicles weighing over 75,000 pounds will have a maximum payment of $550 a year.  

Each year, such truck owners must submit their proof of payment of HVUT to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) because non-compliance triggers penalties. Every year, Form 2290 must be filed within July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

Uses of Form 2290

The following are the uses of Form 2290

  • Calculate and pay the tax accrued on highway motor vehicles. These are vehicles used during the period that have a taxable gross weight of 55000 pounds or more. 

  • To calculate and pay the tax accrued on a vehicle in which you filled the suspension statement on a separate Form 2290 as long as the car went above the mileage limit during the specified period.

  •  Calculate and pay the tax accrued on a taxable vehicle that you used during the specified period. 

  • Make available the acquisition of a used taxable vehicle for suspended tax cases.

Categories of People that Pays HVUT

Your business will have to file Form 2290 and pay HVUT to the IRS if 

  1. The firm is registered in your name when the vehicle was bought and the time of first use

  2. The vehicle has a gross weight of more than 55,000 pounds or more

  3. The mileage will be more than 5000 miles and 7500 miles for Agricultural vehicles

For businesses that will be traveling less than 5000 miles and 75000 for logging and agricultural purposes, they qualify to file as tax suspended vehicles during the tax period. With this, they will not have to pay taxes. It is, however, essential to file for a Tax-Suspended vehicle.

It is essential to understand the impact of Gross Taxable Vehicle Weight to file form 2290. You can estimate the Gross Taxable Vehicle Weight by adding the truck's real, unloaded weight with the maximum weight that the vehicle can accommodate.

Penalty for Not Filing HVUT

There are cases when Uncle Sam might slam a taxpayer with a penalty for Form 2290 filing. This section sheds light on various issues:

  • Failure to file HVUT or pay the taxes due within the specified date, could trigger a penalty

  • A fraudulent or untrue tax return can also trigger HVUT penalty

Many times, violators will have to pay these penalties and the additional fee for late payments. If you, however, have a valid reason for late payment, it might be waived. You need a credible explanation attached to your tax filing if you file after the specified due date.


For vehicles that were sold, stolen, or destroyed during the tax year, there is the opportunity to claim a tax refund electronically. On the next Form 2290 that you will file, you can claim the credit you file in subsequent or the same tax period. 

As an alternative, there is also the option to claim a tax refund of the amount paid using Form 8849, Schedule 6. The amount you get as a refund is a factor of what happened to the vehicle – sale, loss from theft, or destruction.

For businesses that paid taxes on vehicles that they used for less than 5,000 miles, there is the opportunity to claim the credit on the first Form 2290 filed for the next tax period.

You, however, cannot claim a tax exemption or refund for a vehicle that was discontinued.

Larry Hurt
Contact Member