Long-haul truckers now have an extra chore on their August to-do list, right up there with an oil change and a truck wash. It’s time to file Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return for Tax Year 2021.
Form 2290 is required of those who have registered—or who are required to register—large trucks, buses and other vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more.
The deadline to file and pay for those vehicles on the road in July 2021 is Aug. 31.
For taxpayers who may be unsure if their vehicle qualifies, the Internal Revenue Service has their handy online tool, “Do I Need to Pay the Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax?”
The tool’s question-and-answer format helps owners determine if they owe the highway use tax. A recorded webinar, “Understanding Form 2290 – Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax” is also available.
What are some IRS tips for filing a highway use tax return?
Taxpayers will need some information handy before they start the filing process. They’ll need:
- An Employer Identification Number (EIN). Note that this is not a Social Security Number. If the taxpayer doesn’t already have an EIN, it could take up to four weeks to get one. How to Apply for an EIN has more information on the IRS website.
- The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the taxable gross weight of each vehicle.
To file the Form 2290, e-file is the preferred method for sending it to the IRS; in fact, e-filing is required if the taxpayer is reporting 25 or more vehicles. Check out IRS.gov for a list of e-file providers approved by the IRS.
When the form is e-filed, the IRS sends the taxpayer a watermarked Schedule 1 just minutes after the electronic file is accepted.
If not sending Form 2290 via e-file, the taxpayer is left with sending a paper Form 2290 through the mail. Paper filers can expect a stamped Schedule 1 anywhere from one to six weeks after the IRS receives it. Taxpayers filing by mail will need the correct IRS mailing address, available on Tax Year 2021 Instructions for Form 2290.
Taxpayers, of course, will have to pay the Highway Use Tax when they file, and there are some options for this. The quickest and easiest way, many times, is through electronic funds withdrawal; this can be done as part of the e-file process.
The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System allows online payments, but requires enrollment ahead of the actual payment. Payment by credit or debit card is also available, as is paying with a Form 2290-V, Payment Voucher.
Vouchers should be mailed to:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 932500
Louisville, KY 40293-2500
Taxpayers should keep in mind that the filing deadline has nothing to do with the registration date of the vehicle. The IRS says taxpayers are required to file their Form 2290 by the last day of the month following the month the vehicle was first used on public highways during the taxable period.
The Trucking Tax Center on the IRS website has more information at IRS.gov/trucker. This site is also available in Spanish.
In addition, the Form 2290 Call Site is available for U.S. callers from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time at 866-699-4096 (toll-free). If calling from Canada or Mexico, call 859-320-3581 (NOT toll-free).
Help is also available through Frequently Asked Questions for Truckers Who e-File (also available in Spanish) and Frequently Asked Questions for Indian Tribal Governments Regarding Highway Use Tax.