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If you or your company operates a tax-exempt heavy weight vehicle, you are not required to pay the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT). The excise tax, which is paid by owners of vehicles with a gross weight of 55,000 lbs. and more that use public highways, is not collected for vehicles operated by the federal government, non-profit organizations, blood collection agencies and others. The IRS defines "Tax-Exempt Vehicles" in very specific ways, so YourTruckTax.com provides the information you need to fully understand how to determine which vehicles are subject to the heavy highway tax on HVUT Form 2290 and which vehicles are not.


IRS Form 2290 Tax-Exempt Vehicles


Highway motor vehicles that have a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more are taxable. To be exempt from the tax, a highway motor vehicle must be used and actually operated by:

  • The Federal Government
  • The District of Columbia
  • A state or local government
  • The American National Red Cross,
  • A non-profit volunteer fire department, ambulance association, or rescue squad
  • An Indian tribal government but only if the vehicle's use involves the exercise of an essential tribal government function
  • A mass transportation authority if it is created under a statute that gives it certain powers normally exercised by the state


Also exempt from the tax (not required to file Form 2290) are:

  • Qualified blood collector vehicles (see below) used by qualified blood collector organizations
  • Mobile machinery that meets the specifications for a chassis as described under Specially designed mobile machinery for non-transportation functions later.


Qualified blood collector vehicle. A qualified blood collector vehicle is a vehicle at least 80% of the use of which during the prior tax period was by a qualified blood collector organization for the collection, storage, or transportation of blood. A vehicle first placed in service in a tax period will be treated as a qualified blood collector vehicle for the tax period if the qualified blood collector organization certifies that the organization reasonably expects at least 80% of the use of the vehicle by the organization during the tax period will be in the collection, storage, or transportation of blood.

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