Posted on 12/Sep/2017
There are a few things that they don’t teach you in school, filing your taxes is one of them. The Internal Revenue Service has their hand in everything, and as far as trucking is concerned we have to pay Heavy Vehicle Use Tax or better known as a Form 2290.
A form 2290 is what you submit to the IRS to pay your yearly Heavy Vehicle Use Tax. In return, the IRS will issue you a Schedule 1.
The Schedule 1 is better known as your “Proof of Payment”. Once you have your stamped Schedule 1, then you’ll be able to register or renew your truck with the DMV.
If you’ve never filled out a Form 2290 or paid Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, this could be a somewhat confusing form.
We, Freewaytax.com, are in the business of helping companies big and small ensure that they have the tools they need to accurately file their Heavy Vehicle Use Taxes.
Our website application makes it easy for you to enter all of your information and file your Form 2290 and receive your Schedule 1 in just a few minutes.
If you'd like to do that instead
Although there are people that still would like to fill this form out manually and mail it to the IRS. Because of that, we’ve created a step by step guide for you to ensure that you fill it out correctly!
Let's get started!
You can get your VIN number from the actual vehicle, registration, or the title. This will consist of 17 characters. The most obvious place would be your cab card. Other options could be your insurance card, vehicle title, or bill of sale.
This is the total of your truck, trailer, and its maximum payload. For most over the road trucking companies, their taxable gross weight is 80,000lbs. Thus when you fill out the schedule 1 your vehicle would be category “V”, 75,000lbs or more.
Once you have those pieces of information you are ready to start filling out Form 2290. We will take you through each section and describe what you should put in the boxes and provide some examples as well.
At the top of the form, you will be filling out 4 different sections.
This can be tricky, as they are not necessarily asking for your name in this field. When filling out this field you must put what “Name” (whether that be your personal name or business name) that is associated with your SS4 (EIN Paperwork).
This is what an SS4 looks like, and everyone that applies for an EIN is issued one. In the example below, this person would have used “Hearing Loss Association of America” in the NAME field. If you also have a DBA, make sure to use the name listed first on your SS4.
Once again your EIN can be found on your SS-4 paperwork. If you don’t have your SS-4 and do not have your EIN handy, you can call 800-829-4933. See our FAQ topic which can be found here for more information.
The address to your business in this section.
Continue with the City, State, and Zip of your business.
The next section gives you the option to check 4 different boxes.
If you're doing a standard return you won’t have to use these boxes. We will go through each box and explain what each of them does.
If your address has changed since your last filing, make sure that you put the new address up in the first section. Additionally, you will need to check this box to let the IRS know that your business has changed addresses since the last time that you have filed.
The form 2290 can also be used to correct a VIN. For example, if you filed for your vehicle already, but wrote the wrong VIN number by accident, you won’t be able to register your vehicle. With this check box, you can refile the Form 2290 with the correct VIN and you will not be charged for the tax amount again. Most of the time, this is a typographical error, so make sure to check 2 or 3 times just to be sure. The IRS does not have any checks in place to tell you whether you’ve entered a valid VIN number or not. You’ll most likely find out that you’ve entered the wrong VIN number while you’re at the DMV.
There are only 2 reasons that you can check this box.
If your taxable gross weight increases from what you originally filed, then this box will allow you to refile and pay the additional tax that is owed.
If you originally filed one of your vehicles as “suspended” then you would have paid zero tax on that vehicle. However if that vehicle surpasses the mileage limit of 5000 miles (7500 miles for agricultural vehicles) then you would check this box to re-file for that vehicle and pay the tax amount owed. This will be prorated for the remainder of the period.
If you get to a point where you no longer have any vehicles to report, you will have to file a Form 2290 as your Final Return. When filing for a final return, you don't need to list any VIN’s. This informs the IRS to not expect any Heavy Vehicle Use Tax from your company any longer.
Next is the most important part, figuring your tax amount owed to the IRS.
This is asking for the month and year that the vehicle was first used on public roads. Keep in mind, if you purchased the vehicle from a private party and drove it to your business/home, that would be considered the vehicles first used date.
If your vehicle was in use during July of the current year, put the year and month (201707 at the time this was written).
If your vehicle was not in use during July of the current year, see this table to determine your first used date. Our FAQ page has more details here.
This is where you will enter the total tax amount that you owe. This amount is based on the taxable gross weight.
If you answered “YES” to line 1 (Was this vehicle in use during July of the current year?)
The table below will show you the tax amount owed for your specific Taxable Gross Weight.
If you answered “NO” to line 1
Then you will determine your tax amount based on the table below.
If we continue with our previous example with a vehicle that is Category V (75,000lbs or more taxable gross weight)
By answering “YES” to line one, your tax would $550
If you answered “NO” then the table above will show your partial tax amount due based on your first used date.
Example, if your first used date was in November of the current tax year and your vehicle is not a logging vehicle you would use Table 1. Which shows your tax owed of $366.67.
This line is used to account for any additional taxes owed in the event you have an increase in taxable gross weight.Example: If you originally filed for your vehicle as category U (74,001-75,000lbs) and you have an increase in taxable gross weight such as a frequent load that puts your gross vehicle weight over 75,000lbs, you are subject to pay taxes on the increase.
Add the amount from Line 2 and Line 3.
This line is used to account for any tax credits you may be claiming. You can claim a credit if one of two things have occurred.
When submitting for a credit, you will need to provide additional documentation along with your Form 2290. This should be a separate piece of paper that you attach to your Form 2290.
Figuring tax credit amount (you can copy this part and use it when submitting a credit, see the picture below for the formula.)
Find out how many months the vehicle was used for during the tax period and the taxable gross weight category.
To determine the number of months used, start from the first day of the month it was used to the last day of the month it was Sold, Stolen or Destroyed.
Now see the formula below to determine the credit amount:
If you originally filed a Category “V” and you sell the vehicle in December of the same tax year.
You put $550 on Number 1
Then put $320.83 on number 2 (this number was taken from (anchor to partial tax table))
Now subtract number 1 and 2 to determine your credit amount. In this example your credit amount is $229.17
This line is your total balance due, subtract Line 5 from Line 4. You can also check the box that allows you to pay via EFTPS here as well. To find out more about EFTPS check our FAQ page here
If you are filing for vehicles that will fall under category W, which is a suspended vehicle, you will check the appropriate box. Check the box that says “5000 miles or less” or “7500 miles or less for agricultural vehicles”
You can find out what an “Agricultural Vehicle” is here
If any of the vehicles listed as suspended in the prior period exceeded the mileage use limit, check the box on line 8a and list the vehicle identification numbers for those vehicles on line 8b. Attach a separate sheet if needed.
On this line, you can let the IRS know that you have sold or transferred a vehicle that you previously reported as suspended on your previous year return. You may attach a separate sheet if you need more room for additional VIN’s.
Congratulations, you've made it to the end! This is the final section to finish on your Form 2290. You can add a Third Party Designee if you wish, then sign your Form 2290.
This section is used to add an additional person to speak/act on your behalf when dealing directly with the IRS. More info can be found on our FAQ page here.
Now you're ready to mail this form along with your payment to the IRS. We hope this guide will help anyone that wishes to file manually through the process
However you would like us to do all the heavy lifting so you can keep your business moving, you can file your Form 2290 and have your schedule 1 in minutes with Freewaytax.com.
Click here to Register and get started