Form 2290 is used to calculate and pay taxes on vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more that operate on public roads. Even if your tax liability is $0, you’ll need to file Form 2290 each year. Below, we’ll walk you through Form 2290 tax preparation for truckers step by step and answer common questions about filing your return. As you’ll see, there are many steps involved when filing the paper version of Form 2290, but luckily, there are great filing solutions that simplify the nuanced details that can lead to IRS rejections or the need to make updates later on.
Form 2290 Tax Preparation For Truckers: The Information You Need
You’ll be asked to enter in a bit of information about your business and your vehicle on Form 2290, so you’ll want to have the following details on hand:
The IRS does not accept Form 2290s filed using Social Security Numbers. Because Form 2290 is a business tax return, the IRS requires an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to be used as the Federal Tax Identification Number on the return instead. If you don’t yet have an EIN, apply well before your 2290 is due, as it can take approximately one to four weeks for the EIN to become established in IRS e-file systems.
The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is typically a 17-character series of letters and numbers that can be found on the vehicle’s registration, the title, or the vehicle itself. But, be careful to enter the VIN for the vehicle, not a trailer, as this is a common mistake. (That being said, while it’s best to file with the correct VIN right off the bat, typographical errors can be corrected later on using a VIN correction amendment.)
Taxable Gross Weight
You’ll also need to include the taxable gross weight of the vehicle in your Form 2290 tax preparation for truckers. Luckily, all you have to do to find this number is look for the gross vehicle weight on your registration. (Think in terms of the maximum weight you can legally pass on a scale).
In the case of an apportioned plate with different registered weights in different states, you must use the greatest weight. Ultimately, it is your vehicle registration office that will determine whether you have filed with the correct weight, and if you didn’t, they will require a correction before issuing a new registration.
Your Business Name And Address
Last, you’ll need to enter your business name and address, including the suite, room, or unit number. If the business name or address does not match your registration, your registration authority may require you to correct the Form 2290 Stamped Schedule 1, which will involve contacting the IRS directly.
Check The Appropriate Boxes If Necessary
If part of your Form 2290 tax preparation for truckers involves making an amended return, changing your address, or if this will be your final return and you no longer have taxable vehicles to report, check the appropriate box.
Depending on which boxes you’ve checked, you may have to take a few more steps as well. For amended returns reporting VIN corrections, list the corrected VIN or VINs on your Schedule 1 and attach a statement with an explanation for the VIN corrections. For amended returns reporting additional tax from an increase in taxable gross vehicle weight or suspended vehicles exceeding the mileage use limit, fill out line 3 of the tax return.
Part 1. Figuring The Tax
Enter the date of the month of first use during the tax period in the format YYYYMM (ex. July of 2021 would be written as 202107).
On line 2, fill out the appropriate tax by referring to the Tax Computation table on page 2 of Form 2290. (This line is only for the base tax, do not use line 2 to report additional tax from an increase in taxable gross weight.)
You only need to complete line 3 if the taxable weight of the vehicle increases during the period and falls into a new category. If this is the case, file Form 2290 and your Schedule 1 by the last day of the month following the month in which the taxable gross weight increased.
To calculate your total HVUT (Heavy Vehicle Use Tax), add lines 2 and 3 together.
You only need to complete line 5 of the tax return if you’re claiming a credit. Because the Form 2290 tax is paid in advance, if you have disposed of a vehicle before the last month of the tax year, you may claim credit for any tax you paid that was “unused”. You can claim credits on vehicles:
- That were sold before the last month of the tax year (June)
- That were destroyed or totaled before the last month of the tax year and not used during the remainder of the period
- If you paid the Form 2290 tax in a given tax year but the vehicle was driven less than 5,000 miles (7,500 miles or less for agricultural vehicles).
It’s important to note that credits aren’t available for an occasional light load or infrequent use of the vehicle, and the amount claimed on line 5 can’t be more than the taxes owed on line 4. However, if your credits are greater than your taxes, you aren’t out of luck. Excess credits can be claimed as a refund on Form 8849 and Schedule 6, or you can claim the additional credits the next time you file a 2290 return.
Line 6 is the balance due, which you can calculate by subtracting line 5 from line 4.
Part 2. Statement In Support Of Suspension
If the vehicle is suspended (used less than 5,000 miles (7,500 for agricultural vehicles) during the tax period), check the appropriate box on line 7. Then, count and list the suspended vehicles on your Schedule 1.
If any vehicles you listed as suspended in the prior tax period exceeded the mileage use limit, check the box on 8a and list the VINs for the vehicles on line 8b (you can attach a separate sheet if necessary).
Complete line 9 only if line 7 was completed in the prior tax period and the tax-suspended vehicles were sold or transferred. To do this, you’ll need the vehicle’s VIN, the name of the person you sold or transferred it to, and the date the sale or transfer occurred. If you sell a suspended vehicle, you’ll also need to provide a statement to the buyer showing:
- The seller’s name, address, and EIN
- The vehicle’s VIN
- Date of the sale
- Odometer reading at the beginning of the period
- Odometer reading at the time of sale
- The buyer’s name, address, and EIN
Looking For A Better Way? How i2290 Simplifies The Process
As you can see, Form 2290 tax preparation for truckers can be tricky or time-consuming – but i2290 makes it simple. Our software will guide you through a few quick questions about your business and your vehicles, then automatically calculate your taxes and transmit your electronic Form 2290 to the IRS – it’s as simple as that. Once your form is submitted, you’ll receive an IRS stamped Schedule 1 in minutes, and i2290 will securely store your tax documents online for access any time you may need them.
While we do not offer tax advice, if you have trouble at any point in the process, our world-class support team will gladly assist you. They’ll help you make corrections and amendments, help you claim credits, and answer any questions you may have.
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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 filing correctly and paying appropriate taxes is by following IRS regulations and consulting with a tax professional.