4 reminders about the U.S. Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT)

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It’s once again time for the annual filing of the U.S. heavy vehicle use tax (HVUT) imposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Funds collected from this tax are deposited into the U.S. Highway Trust Fund for transportation infrastructure maintenance and improvements.

If you’re crossing into the United States with “taxable” vehicles, or vehicles with a gross weight of 24,948 kilograms (55,000 pounds) or more, you’re subject to the tax.

A new U.S. HVUT tax year starts on July 1, 2022. Here are four reminders about the tax as you look to file in 2022.

cross border truck
(Photo: istock)

1. Gather your information

First, gather the information you need for your filing. You’ll need a few pieces of information to file the HVUT:

  • Your U.S. federal employer identification number,
  • Your vehicles’ vehicle identification numbers (VINs), and
  • The taxable gross weight of your vehicles.

2. File electronically

The tax year runs from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.  If you have vehicles operating in the United States in the month of July, you’ll need to file and pay by the end of the month following the month in which the vehicle was first used. This means for vehicles operated into the United States in July, you need to file by Aug. 31, 2022.

It can take several weeks to obtain your proof of tax payment if you’re filing on paper. The IRS is still also experiencing delays due to the Covid pandemic, so e-filing is recommended.  E-filing is much faster and more accurate. It’s also required when filing for 25 or more vehicles, but everyone is still encouraged to e-file.

3. Pay by credit or debit card

It can get complicated for the IRS to accept payments from international financial institutions, which is why it’s probably easiest for you to pay using a credit or debit card. But if you must pay using another method, the IRS Instructions for Form 2290 will give you details on alternate payments.

4. Carry proof of payment in the vehicle.

Finally, the IRS requires proof of filing or a written declaration when operating into the United States. Either one must be presented to border enforcement upon request.

You may be wondering about the “written declaration”. The written declaration can be presented if your drivers have operated taxable vehicles into the United States but you have not yet filed your HVUT. For example, if you became subject to the HVUT in July 2022, you have until Aug. 31, 2022, to file and pay the HVUT. Canada-based carriers are still allowed the filing timeframe that all other carriers can observe.

If you operate into the United States before the HVUT is filed and paid, your driver can carry a written declaration up until Aug. 31, 2022, including  the following items:

  • Name, address, and taxpayer identification number of the person liable for the tax imposed on the vehicle;
  • Vehicle’s VIN;
  • Date on which such vehicle was first used on the public highways in the United States during the taxable period (or a statement that the current entry is the first use);
  • Acknowledgment by the person liable for the tax imposed on such vehicle that the willful use of the declaration to evade or defeat the tax will subject such person to a fine or imprisonment; and
  • Signature of the person liable for the tax imposed on such vehicle.

When your taxable vehicles operate into the United States after Aug. 31, 2022, make sure your driver is carrying proof of HVUT tax payment and filing (a stamped Schedule 1) on the vehicle, and presents it to border officials upon request.

Final thoughts

The IRS has a page dedicated to HVUT/2290 at www.irs.gov/truckers.

If you’re not sure this tax applies to you, this site can help. Use the HVUT/2290 Interactive Tax Assistant to click through a series of questions to help you determine applicability.

The page also includes forms, information/instructions, and a listing of IRS-approved e-filing providers.

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Heather Ness is the editor of transport operations at J.J.Keller and Associates. Contact her at transporteditors@jjkeller.com.

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