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Navigating the 2290 tax maze can be daunting for heavy vehicle owners. One of the most common questions heavy vehicle owners ask is, “how much does 2290 tax cost for my truck?” If you’ve found yourself asking this very question, you’ve come to the right place. Think of this article as your HVUT roadmap, breaking down the complexities of your 2290 tax, from understanding its relevance to deciphering the factors that influence its cost. We’ll dive into vehicle weight, type (what it’s used for), mileage, and filing methods, highlighting the penalties associated with failure to file and failure to pay.

Understanding the 2290 Tax 

What is the purpose of the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax?

The purpose of the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) is to provide revenue for maintaining and improving the country’s public highways and transportation infrastructure. The revenue generated from the HVUT tax is used to fund various highway projects, road maintenance, and infrastructure improvements. Heavy vehicles, due to their weight and size, exert a significant amount of wear and tear on the roadways compared to smaller vehicles. The HVUT aims to ensure that these vehicles contribute their fair share to the maintenance and upkeep of our infrastructure. It also helps keep track of the number of heavy vehicles on the road.

To Whom Does the HVUT Apply?

The HVUT applies to specific heavy vehicles based on weight criteria. Yet, not all of these vehicles bear the same costs. So, how much does 2290 tax cost for these varied vehicles? Truckers figure that out by calculating the gross weight of their vehicles by adding the following three values:

  1. The weight of the vehicle (when it is fully equipped for service)
  2. The weight of the trailer used with the vehicle (when it is empty)
  3. The weight of the maximum load routinely carried by the vehicle

However, not all heavy vehicles are subject to the HVUT. Some vehicles are exempt from this tax, which makes the answer to how much does 2290 tax cost an easy one for at least a few heavy vehicle owners. These exempt groups and vehicles incur no cost; they pay no HVUT. 

Whether a group or vehicle is subject to the HVUT or exempt is largely dependent upon the typical use of the vehicle and associated services rendered. Vehicles used by Federal, State, or local governments, for example, are exempt along with those used by The Red Cross, non-profit organizations, mass transit authorities and qualified blood collection organizations. 

When Do You Pay the HVUT?

The HVUT is paid annually, in advance, and in full. But when is it due and how is it handled? The HVUT is paid in conjunction with Form 2290, which is due every year on August 31 for vehicles operated year over year and for vehicles put into operation (initially commissioned) by July 31. For vehicles initially commissioned after July the Form 2290 is due on the last day of the month after the vehicle is first used on public roadways. For example, a vehicle put into operation for the first time during the month of September, Form 2290 is due on October 31.

While we have established some understanding of who the HVUT applies to, which vehicles are exempt and when it is due, we haven’t answered the burning question of, “how much does 2290 tax cost?” 

Factors Influencing Cost

To answer the question of “how much does 2290 tax cost?” two main factors must be considered: weight and mileage.

Weight

Although we have established that vehicles that weigh 55,000 lbs or more are subject to the HVUT, the tax rate will vary dependent upon the gross taxable weight; for vehicles that have a gross taxable weight between 55,000 and 75,000 lbs, the HVUT will be $100 plus $22 for every 1,000 lbs over 55,000. For vehicles over 75,000 lbs, the HVUT is capped at $550 per year, meaning that $550 will be the maximum amount paid per year. 

Gross Taxable WeightHeavy Vehicle Use Tax Rates
Below 55,000 lbsNo tax
55,000-75,000 lbs$100 plus $22 per 1,000 lbs over 55,000
Over 75,000 lbs$550

For a more comprehensive breakdown with precise rates, refer to the table below, which also highlights the difference between the tax rate for logging and non-logging vehicles:

Taxable gross weight (in pounds)Vehicles (except logging) Logging vehicles
55,000$100.00$75.00
55,001 – 56,000$122.00$91.50
56,000 – 57,000$144.00$108.00
57,001 – 58,000$166.00$124.50
58,001 – 59,000$188.00$141.00
59,001 – 60,000$210.00$157.50
60,001 – 61,000$232.00$174.00
61,001 – 62,000$254.00$190.50
62,001 – 63,000$276.00$207.00
63,001 – 64,000$298.00$223.50
64,001 – 65,000$320.00$240.00
65,001 – 66,000$342.00$256.50
66,001 – 67,000$364.00$273.00
67,001 – 68,000$386.00$289.50
68,001 – 69,000$408.00$306.00
69,001 – 70,000$430.00$322.50
70,001 – 71,000$452.00$339.00
71,001 – 72,000$474.00$355.50
72,001 – 73,000$496.00$372.00
73,001 – 74,000$518.00$388.50
74,001 – 75,000$540.00$405.00
over 75,000$550.00$412.50

Mileage

In addition to a vehicle’s gross taxable weight, its annual mileage impacts how much one pays in HVUT (or whether they pay at all). Since the revenue collected via the HVUT is used to maintain the infrastructure frequently used by heavy vehicles it makes sense to waive the tax for vehicles that use the roadways very little; due to their minimal usage, they cause less wear and tear to those roadways. 

Certain mobile construction equipment and farming machinery used in agriculture, although heavy, do not typically drive on the public highways. Agricultural vehicles that travel less than 7,500 miles annually and commercial vehicles that travel less than 5,000 miles annually are considered tax-suspended with respect to the HVUT (as opposed to the tax-exempt scenarios listed previously), meaning that like tax-exempt vehicles, those that qualify as tax-suspended will not have to pay the HVUT.

Filing Methods and Deadlines

Filing Methods: Paper vs E-filing

There’s two main ways to file the HVUT: paper by mail and electronic (e-filing). While the traditional paper method is still accepted if you are filing for less than 25 vehicles, filing by mail (now called “snail mail” with good reason), can turn into a waiting game and if something goes wrong with the postal service, the IRS could receive your return late, and receipt of your stamped Schedule 1 may be significantly delayed. E-filing, conversely, is virtually instantaneous with immediate confirmation and a stamped Schedule 1 within minutes.

Important Deadlines for 2290 Tax Filing and Payment

The deadline for filing the Form 2290, as noted above, is the last day of the month following the vehicle’s first use and then August 31 year over year. The payment is also due along with the filing. If filing using the traditional paper method, the payment can be made by check or money order. If e-filing, the payment can be made by credit or debit card or electronic funds withdrawal from a bank account.

Extra Fees and Penalties 

Filing and paying the HVUT on time is critical to avoid additional fees and penalties. Failure to file, however, incurs worse penalties than failing to pay (by about nine times). Thus, even if you cannot afford to pay the full amount of the tax up front, the IRS recommends filing on time anyway. Since the IRS charges interest on penalties, it is best to avoid them altogether.

Failure to File

If you do not file by the deadline, you will incur the following penalties:

  • 5% of the tax liability for the first 5 months you’re past due (up to a max of 22.5% total)
  • 0.5% of your tax liability (up to an additional max of 25%) for every month thereafter
  • (22.5% + 25% = max total of 47.5% plus interest)

Failure to Pay

If you file on time but fail to pay the HVUT on time, you will incur a penalty of .5% of your total tax liability (significantly less than the penalty for the failure to file). If full payment up front isn’t doable, the IRS has options such as payment plans. It is recommended that you consult a professional when exploring such options.

How to Manage Your 2290 Tax Effectively

Now that we have explained the purpose of the HVUT, detailed the criteria that determine whether your vehicle is subject to it, and answered the question of, “how much does 2290 tax cost?” We have one question remaining: “What is the most effective way to manage the HVUT” to avoid the penalties from failure to file?

With i2290, we make the HVUT and 2290 filing process a breeze, helping you avoid failure to file and all the associated penalties; you receive your stamped Schedule 1 in minutes, which is maintained digitally for seven years for easy access. Are you ready to bypass the penalties and file your Form 2290? Create an account with us today! 

Special note: This article is for general purposes, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, investment, or accounting advice. The best way to ensure you’re properly filing and paying appropriate taxes is by following IRS regulations and consulting with a tax professional.

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