As of July 1, 2011, the process of filing a Form 2290 for Heavy Vehicle Use Tax has changed dramatically as a result of new legislation not being passed by Congress. These new regulations affect tax service providers, trucking companies, and owner operators of highway motor vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more.
Heavy Vehicle Use Tax form 2290 – Overview
The Form 2290 imposes an excise tax on certain highway motor vehicles (26 CFR Part 41) under section 4481 of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 4481 imposes an excise tax on the use in any taxable period of a highway motor vehicle with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. The person to whom the vehicle is registered at the time of the first use for the year must pay the tax. The amount of the tax is based on the gross weight of the vehicle with a maximum of $550 per vehicle per taxable period. The tax period begins on July 1 and ends on June 30th of the following year.
However, for the taxable period beginning on July 1, 2011, section 4482(c)(4) of the present law states that the taxable period ends as of September 30, 2011 instead of the typical June 30th deadline. For this three month period, the tax has been reduced to 25 percent of the tax rate for a 12-month period. Section 41.6011(a)–1(a)(1) requires each person liable for the tax imposed by section 4481 to file a return for each taxable period. Section 41.6011(a)–1(b) provides that the return is in Form 2290, (Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return).
A Form 2290 must generally be filed by the last day of the month following the month in which someone first becomes liable for tax. For most taxpayers, their first use of a vehicle in a taxable period occurs in July and thus their return is due by August 31st. This is because July is the first month of the tax period, and if a vehicle was registered in the previous year, July is the first month of the current year. Section 41.6001–2(b) explains that when a state that receives an application to register a highway motor vehicle, they must receive a ‘‘proof of payment” of the tax imposed by section 4481(a). This proof of payment typically consists of a receipted Schedule 1 (Form 2290) that is returned by the IRS to a taxpayer that files the form 2290 and pays the amount of tax due with the return.
The taxpayer registering the vehicle must present proof of payment for the taxable period that includes the date on which the application for registration is filed. In the case of an application filed in July, August, or September of this year, the proof of payment for the preceding taxable period may be used. The tax imposed under section 4481 will expire on September 30, 2011, unless Congress changes the law. Under existing regulations, the person liable for the tax must file a Form 2290 by the last day of the month after the month that the person first becomes liable for the tax. Current statutory and regulatory provisions require the person liable for the tax to file a Form 2290 for taxable use during the period of July 1, 2011, through September 30, 2011. Also, if Congress extends the tax past September 30, 2011, anyone who filed a Form 2290 for the short taxable period of 2011 would have to file a second Form 2290 covering the period after September 30, 2011, until either the expiration date of the extension or June 30, 2012 (whichever comes first).
Extension of Form 2290 HVUT Due Date
In order to provide a more efficient tax administration and alleviate taxpayers’ potential administrative burden, temporary regulations have postponed the due date of Form 2290 for the 2011 short taxable period until November 30, 2011. If Congress does not extend the tax past September 30, 2011, taxpayers will file one Form 2290 and will pay the reduced amount for the 2011 short taxable period by November 30. If Congress does extend the tax past September 30, 2011, and substitutes a longer taxable period for the 2011 short taxable period, taxpayers who become liable for the highway use tax after June 30, 2011, and before November 1, 2011, a will file Form 2290 for the period July 1, 2011—June 30, 2012 (or the end of the new taxable period, if earlier), by November 30, 2011. In either case, most taxpayers will have to file only one return for the taxable period beginning July 1, 2011.
Temporary regulations suggest that taxpayers should file a Form 2290 no earlier than November 1, 2011 for taxable use during the 2011 short taxable period. The IRS will not provide a receipted Schedule 1 for a return and accept associated payment for the taxable period beginning July 1, 2011, before November 1, 2011.
Temporary Regulations for Proof of Payment for DMV registration
Special rule for registration after June 30, 2011, and before December 1, 2011.
For the period between July 1, 2011, and November 30, 2011, a State must register a highway motor vehicle without proof of payment if the person registering the vehicle presents the original or a photocopy of a bill of sale or another document proving ownership indicating that the vehicle was acquired by the owner either as a new or used vehicle during the preceding 150 days before the date that the state receives the application for registration of the vehicle, and the vehicle has not been registered in any state subsequent to such date of purchase.
Substitute proof of payment for the taxable period beginning July 1, 2011.
A state shall accept a 2290 Schedule 1 for the previous taxable period as a substitute for proof of payment.
Temporary Regulations- filing dates
In the case of a highway motor vehicle that incurs a taxable use during the period July 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011, the person liable for the tax must file a return no later than November 30, 2011. The return should be filed no earlier than November 1, 2011. If the return is filed and payment is submitted before November 1, 2011, the IRS will not provide a receipted Schedule 1 (Form 2290, ”Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return”) as proof of payment until after November 1, 2011, and will provide the receipted Schedule 1 only if the full amount of the tax for the 2011 taxable period has been paid.
Trucking Companies, contractors, service providers, or individual owner operators who need to get a Form 2290 schedule 1 for previous tax years can contact the IRS, or file form 2290 online through an IRS authorized E-File provider such as ExpressTruckTax.com. For more information on heavy vehicle use tax, you can call the good folks at Express Truck Tax at 704-234-6005 or email at support@ExpressTruckTax.com
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