The IRS is requesting that motor carriers file Form 2290 for the period July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012, if they have not already done so. Per information from the IRS, the agency has identified taxpayers that did not file for this period, and is in the process of contacting them to determine the reason for not filing and to secure the Form 2290 along with the tax payment where appropriate. Background
The Form 2290 (Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax-HVUT) return is an annual filing with a taxable period beginning July 1. The HVUT return applies to taxpayers who register a highway motor vehicle with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. A maximum tax of $550 is due for such vehicles that are used on public highways in excess of 5,000 miles annually. Internal Revenue Code section 4481 is the legislative authority pertaining to this tax.
The Form 2290 is normally due each year on or before August 31 for vehicles first used on a public highway in July. This yearly return covers the upcoming twelve month period. Hence, the taxable period is July 1 through June 30 of the subsequent year. For vehicles first used on a public highway after July, a short year return is due to pay the pro-rated tax on that vehicle.
Due to the fact that the highway use tax was scheduled to expire on September 30, 2011, the Internal Revenue Service issued News Release IR-2011-77 granting those liable for the HVUT, an extension for filing to Nov. 30, 2011, for vehicles first used in July, August, September and October 2011. This extension was designed to alleviate any confusion and possible multiple filings that could result if Congress reinstated or modified the tax after that date.
In the interim, truck owner/operators still needed to continue operations, which including renewing their respective state registrations. To aid truckers in applying for state vehicle registrations, new regulations required states to accept as proof of payment the stamped Schedule 1 of the 2290 issued by the IRS for the prior tax year. Under federal law, state governments are required to receive proof of payment of the federal highway use tax as a condition of vehicle registration. Normally, after a taxpayer files the return and pays the tax, the Schedule 1 is stamped by the IRS and returned to filers for this purpose. Since the federal tax had not been filed and paid by August 30th, the normal requirement to provide proof of the current year federal filing was lifted. As a result, truck owner/operators were able to obtain state registrations without having to show proof of the current year filing of Form 2290.
Eventually, the highway use tax was extended by enacted legislation. For subsequent filing periods, the normal filing time frames and the federal HVUT filing proof requirement for states to issues registrations were restored.
In November 2011, a postcard was mailed to Form 2290 filers informing them of the due date of the return. The postcard indicated the IRS would monitor filings to determine the level of compliance for the 201107 tax period. See the postcard
With the federal HVUT filing proof requirement in abeyance, truck owner/operators could file their federal Form 2290 after having secured their state registrations for the year. However, some taxpayers did not file their Form 2290 for this period and the IRS is now contacting these taxpayers to secure the form and related tax payment.
The IRS is happy to provide customer service support to any taxpayer who needs assistance. From the US, call 866-699-4096. From Canada or Mexico, call 859-669-5733.