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What is Heavy Vehicle Use Tax or Highway Use Tax
Highway Use Tax (HUT), also known as the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT), is a federal tax imposed on heavy vehicles that operate on public highways in the United States. This tax is primarily targeted at commercial trucks and buses with a gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. The tax revenue generated from the HUT is used to fund the maintenance and construction of highways and transportation infrastructure.
Key points about the Highway Use Tax in the trucking industry in the USA include:
The Highway Use Tax applies to heavy vehicles with a gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more that use public highways for transportation purposes. This includes a wide range of commercial vehicles such as trucks, buses, and recreational vehicles (RVs) that meet the weight criteria.
The tax period for the Highway Use Tax typically runs from July 1st to June 30th of the following year. If a vehicle is in operation during any part of this period, it is required to pay the tax for the entire period.
Filing and Payment
To file the Highway Use Tax, truck owners or operators need to complete IRS Form 2290, also known as the Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return. This form can be filed electronically through the IRS website or submitted by mail. Payment of the tax can be made using electronic funds withdrawal, electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), check, or money order. You will find the form below.
The tax rate for the Highway Use Tax is determined based on the gross weight of the vehicle. The tax rates are higher for heavier vehicles. For example, vehicles with a gross weight of 75,000 pounds or more have a higher tax rate compared to those with a gross weight between 55,000 and 75,000 pounds.
Certain categories of vehicles are exempt from the Highway Use Tax. This includes vehicles used for agricultural purposes on farms, vehicles used by the federal government, state or local governments, qualified blood collection vehicles, and vehicles with low mileage. These exemptions are meant to accommodate specific industries or purposes.
Proof of Payment
After filing and paying the Highway Use Tax, truck owners receive a stamped Schedule 1 as proof of payment. This document is important for vehicle registration and renewal. It is also required for some transactions, such as obtaining an International Registration Plan (IRP) license plate.
Learn about the International Registration Plan here.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
Failure to file and pay the Highway Use Tax by the due date can result in penalties and interest charges. The penalty is typically a percentage of the total tax amount and increases with time. The IRS may also impose additional penalties for fraudulent or intentional non-compliance.
Use of Funds
The revenue generated from the Highway Use Tax is used to fund highway and transportation infrastructure projects across the United States. These funds contribute to maintaining and building roads, bridges, and other essential transportation facilities that benefit both commercial and non-commercial vehicles.
While the Highway Use Tax is a federal tax, each state may have its own regulations or taxes related to commercial trucking and transportation. Trucking companies and drivers need to be aware of both federal and state requirements to ensure compliance.
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Gross Taxable Weight
Below 55,000 lbs
Over 75,000 lbs
Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Rates
$100 plus $22 per 1,000 pounds over 55,000 lbs