Highway Heavy Use Tax 2290

2290 iconEvery semi tractor that runs on roads has to pay the federal government the highway use tax. The federal form for highway use is called a 2290.  It is a simple form to fill out.  You will need your company information, the VIN of each power unit in your company, the weight class of each power unit, and a check.  There are a few exceptions (such as some logging and farming). Most years, for most people it is a straight forward form.  Fill in the blanks and pay them the money.  If you have to mail it in, be sure that you give it time to travel, be processed and returned before the deadline.  They can fine you and charge interest on a late form.  It is easier to just be ahead of the deadline. If you live near an IRS office, you can walk in and get help with the form, pay the same day and get you form back.  If you walk in, verify the rules for that.  My local office requires a driver’s license, no pocket knives, etc.

Every tractor that runs on highways has to pay the federal government the highway use tax.  It is usually $550. for a class 8 power unit. You have to pay for all power units owned by your company at once.  One truck is $550, two is $1100, etc.   It is paid once a year, due by June 31 of each year. You can’t get your license plates without proof that it was paid.   If you buy or sell a power unit mid-year, you need to find out if the buyer or seller will be paying the pro-rated amount.  Some sellers pay it as a purchase perk.  If you are leasing on with a company, they will usually file and pay under their name, and take the $550 and license out of your first check.

Here are  links to the IRS form pdf’s of 2290 and instructions.  The form is in like triplicate.  You have to fill each out.  If you have more questions, you can go to IRS.gov for help.

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  1. Hi Enid, informative post for those who drive semi tractors for a living, certainly for those starting out in the profession. Being a wife of a trucker, I’m sure you are very much involved with the trucking industry and therefore, can provide valuable information and insight, like this one, for those who have chosen truck driving for a living.

    I don’t know much about the Heavy Use Tax, but I do know this industry is heavily regulated. I have friends who are associated with it. One friend’s dad is a long haul driver. Another friend actually owned a trucking company. His son was like 12 years old and could park “the big rigs” anywhere on the property.

    By the way I had a friend who worked for “The Port of Entry” in Cortez, Co. I would go out to visit him some nights. He knew the names of almost every truck driver who came through the scales.

    Anyway, interesting site and should provide valuable information.


    • Thanks Don! Trucking does have a lot of regulations. There’s a whole laundry list of things to keep in mind when you are responsible for a big truck. Trucking can be fun and you definitely meet great people, but there is a ton of things to keep track of for the ports and other authorities as well. Have a great day and hope to see you back soon.

  2. Hiya. I live in Ireland so this is all new to me but I have friends in America that might find this useful. what I do know there is no road tax in Ireland especially farmers. tax and insurance is covered with their vehicle, Thank you for sharing this, I pass this on to my good friends in America 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing the info. Farmers have some different rules here. But each trucker has to secure his own insurance and pay his own taxes. Have a great day!

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