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Different Vehicle Categories to Know Before Filing Form 2290

A vehicle category classifies heavy vehicles for tax regulatory purposes. It is important to know your vehicle’s category as it helps calculate your HVUT tax while filing your 2290 form. The HVUT vehicle categories include taxable, suspended, exempted, logging, agricultural, and credit vehicles.

Taxable Vehicles

Vehicles that weigh 55,000 pounds or more and 5,000 miles or more on a public highway are taxable vehicles. This includes trucks, truck-tractors, and buses. 

If you own a taxable vehicle, you need to 2290 tax amount by August 31st of every year. The tax amount depends on the vehicle's gross weight category.

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Suspended Vehicles

When a taxable vehicle does not cross the mileage limit of 5,000 miles (7,500 miles for agricultural vehicles), it will fall into the suspended vehicle category (Category W). You don't need to pay HVUT tax for suspended vehicles. But you need to file IRS form 2290 to inform the IRS that your vehicle is a suspended vehicle.

You can check the ‘Suspended Vehicle’ box under the ‘Vehicle type’ section while e-filing your form. Paper-filers can specify the same in the “Part II - Statement in Support of Suspension” section on page 1 of form 2290.

Does your vehicle come under the suspended vehicle category?

Your vehicle will come under suspended vehicle category if it is:

  • A commercial vehicle that has travelled below 5,000 miles during the tax period
  • An agricultural vehicle that has travelled 7,000 miles or less during the tax period
  • An off-highway vehicle such as mobile machinery used for non-transportation functions
  • A non-transportation trailer or semi-trailer
  • A blood collector vehicle

Once you complete the payment, you will receive a stamped form 2290 schedule 1 copy in your email inbox.

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Exempted Vehicles

Tax exempt vehicles are used by the government. These vehicles are not required to pay tax, but they need to inform the IRS (1) about the tax exemption. Such vehicles are owned or operated by:

  • The Federal Government
  • The District of Columbia
  • The American National Red Cross
  • State or local government
  • Non-profit fire department, rescue squad or ambulance association
  • Mass transportation authority
  • Indian tribal government to carry out the essential functions of the tribal government
  • Qualified blood collector vehicles
  • Mobile machinery, which is not categorized under the heavy vehicle section

Logging Vehicles

Logging vehicles are exclusively used for the transportation of forestry goods to and from a forest site. Logging vehicles are taxed at a lower rate as opposed to other heavy vehicles.

Your vehicle will qualify as a logging vehicle if:

  • It is exclusively used for the transportation of lumber, chipped or sawed or milled timber from a forested site during its tax period
  • It is a registered highway motor vehicle which is being used to transport harvested forest products under the state law in which your vehicle is registered

Agricultural Vehicles

Agricultural vehicles are used for harvesting and transporting agricultural goods such as crop, feed, seed, and poultry among others. Agricultural vehicles are also subject to HVUT tax, like other taxable vehicles.

You need to file form 2290 and pay the HVUT tax only if your agricultural vehicle operated for more than 7,500 miles. If the mileage limit is below 7,500 miles, your vehicle will be deemed a suspended vehicle.

Credit Vehicles

Your vehicle will be considered a credit vehicle if it was sold, destroyed, or stolen during the tax period. In such cases, You can use Schedule 6 (form 8849) to claim refund in the same or subsequent tax period. The refund amount will depend on when the vehicle was sold, destroyed, or stolen.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does category mean in 2290 form?

A. In the 2290 form, ‘category’ refers to the type of vehicle being reported, such as whether it is used for regular transportation or agricultural purposes.

Q. What vehicles need 2290?

A. Vehicles that need to file Form 2290 are those with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more and are used on public highways. This includes heavy motor vehicles like trucks and trailers.

Q. What are the exemptions for form 2290?

A. Exemptions for Form 2290 include certain vehicles that are not subject to the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT). Some exemptions apply to vehicles owned and operated by the federal government, state or local governments, qualified QSubs, and eligible single-owner disregarded entities, among others.

Farming vehicles may be exempt from the Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax if they are used primarily (over 50% of the time) for farming activities, including transporting agricultural products and supplies between the taxpayer's owned or leased farms. However, transportation to markets or processing plants is not included in this exemption.

Q. What does suspended mean on form 2290?

A. ‘Suspended’ on Form 2290 means that a vehicle is exempt from paying the HVUT for a specific period. This typically applies to vehicles that are expected to be driven less than 5,000 miles (or 7,500 miles for agricultural vehicles) during the tax year.

Final Thoughts

As the saying goes: knowledge is power. Knowing important vehicle details such as its category will help you reap many benefits while filing form 2290. Moreover, when you possess the right information, it reduces the likelihood of making mistakes while filing. But even if you do make mistakes, you can rely on our  expert guidance to help you right the wrong in no time!

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