What is The Purpose of A Vehicle Category?
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 form 2290. The HVUT vehicle categories include taxable, suspended, exempted, logging, agricultural, and credit 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 file form 2290 and pay the tax amount by August 31st of every year. The tax amount depends on the vehicle's gross weight category.
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 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 schedule 1 copy in your email inbox.
Tax exempt vehicles are used by the government. These vehicles are not required to pay tax, but they need to inform the IRS 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 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 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.
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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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!