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Vehicles with a gross weight of 55,000 lbs. and more using public highways are required to file the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax as defined on federal tax Form 2290. The federal government collects the tax, and then disperses the revenue among the states to fund highway construction and maintenance projects. Correctly determining the Taxable Gross Weight of the vehicle determines the amount of tax due.

  1. What is Taxable Gross Weight for the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax?
  2. How do I determine the Taxable Gross Weight when completing Form 2290?
  3. What determines an increase in Taxable Gross Weight?
  4. How is additional tax calculated for increase in Taxable Gross weight?
  5. Can I consider special permits while determining the vehicle's Taxable Gross Weight?
  6. How is the Taxable Gross Weight for a bus calculated?

What is Taxable Gross Weight for the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax?

The taxable gross weight of a vehicle (other than a bus) is the total of:

  • The actual unloaded weight of the vehicle fully equipped for service
  • The actual unloaded weight of any trailers or semi-trailers fully equipped for service customarily used in combination with the vehicle
  • The weight of the maximum load customarily carried on the vehicle and on any trailers or semi-trailers customarily used in combination with the vehicle

How do I determine the Taxable Gross Weight when completing Form 2290?

The weight declared for registering a vehicle in a state may affect the taxable gross weight used to figure the tax.

State registration by specific gross weight:

  • If the vehicle is registered in any state that requires a declaration of gross weight in a specific amount, including proportional or prorated registration or payment of any other fees or taxes, then the vehicle's taxable gross weight must be no less than the highest gross weight declared for the vehicle in any state. If the vehicle is a tractor-trailer or truck-trailer combination, the taxable gross weight must be no less than the highest combined gross weight declared.

State registration by gross weight category:

  • If the vehicle is registered in any state that requires vehicles to be registered on the basis of gross weight, and the vehicle is not registered in any state that requires a declaration of specific gross weight, then the vehicle's taxable gross weight must fall within the highest gross weight category for which the vehicle is registered in that state.

State registration by actual unloaded weight:

  • If the vehicle is registered only in a state or states that base registration on actual unloaded weight, then the taxable gross weight is the total of the three items listed under Taxable Gross Weight above.

What determines an increase in Taxable Gross Weight?

If the taxable gross weight of a vehicle increases during the period and the vehicle falls in a new category.

For instance, an increase in maximum load customarily carried may change the taxable gross weight. Report the additional tax for the remainder of the period on Form 2290, line 3. At the top of Form 2290, write the word "Amended" and the month the taxable gross weight increased. File Form 2290 and Schedule 1 by the last day of the month following the month in which the taxable gross weight increased.

How is additional tax calculated for increase in Taxable Gross weight?

  1. Enter the month the taxable gross weight increased. Enter the month here and on Form 2290, line 1
  2. From Form 2290, page 2, determine the new taxable gross weight category. Next, go to the "Partial-Period Tax" Tables Find the month entered on line 1 above. Read down the column to the new category; this is the new tax
  3. Find the tax under that month for the previous category reported
  4. Additional tax. Subtract 3 from 2. This is your additional tax

Can I consider special permits while determining the vehicle's Taxable Gross Weight?

In determining a vehicle's taxable gross weight, do not consider weights declared to obtain special temporary travel permits. These are permits that allow a vehicle to operate:

  • In a state in which it is not registered
  • At more than a state's maximum weight limit
  • At more than the weight at which it is registered in the state

However, special temporary travel permits do not include permits that are issued for your vehicle if the total amount of time covered by those permits is more than 60 days or (if issued on a monthly basis) more than 2 months during a taxable year.

How is the Taxable Gross Weight for a bus calculated?

The taxable gross weight of a bus is its actual unloaded weight fully equipped for service plus 150 pounds for each seat provided for passengers and driver.

Easy filing of tax form 2290

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