New Carriers

What is the Form 2290 In Trucking And Why It's Important

Published on
June 22, 2022
min read

With any commercial industry, there will always be paperwork and taxes, and the trucking world is no exception. One of the tax requirements that need to be documented and returned to the IRS each year is Form 2290.

What is a Form 2290?

In short, a Form 2290 is a tax document used to record and calculate the use of Heavy Highway Vehicles that operate on public highways, exceed a gross weight of 55,000 pounds, and travel more than 5,000 miles in the taxable year. (This runs from July 1st to June 30th each year)

What is the Purpose of a Form 2290?

While taxes aren’t enjoyable for anyone the Form 2290 does have a purpose that ties back directly into the industry that pays it. Taxes collected from the Heavy Highway Tax are sent back to state governments to support highway maintenance and construction projects.

When heavy vehicles are on the road a lot they tend to wear the materials down much quicker than a regular car. This tax keeps the roads in better condition so that they can keep their wheels rolling on smoother surfaces. Even though paying taxes is not a favorite for anyone it is nice to know that you are technically supporting your business by paying this one.

Who Needs to File a Form 2290?

There is a wide array of people who need to file a Form 2290. Individuals, Owner Operators, LLCs, Corporations, Partnerships, and even some nonprofits, charitable organizations, and educational businesses may need to file a Form 2290 if they have a vehicle that weighs over 55,000 pounds and travels over 5,000 miles during the taxable year on public highways.

There are a few exemptions including any vehicles that are operated by federal, state, or local governments, nonprofit volunteer fire, ambulance, rescue squads, or any vehicles that meet the weight requirement but that don’t travel over 5,000 miles during the taxable year.

You can also claim a credit if you have already paid taxes on a vehicle and then it ends up being destroyed, stolen, or used less than the 5,000 miles you had predicted when you made the payment.

Before you can file your Form 2290 you will need to have a valid EIN (Employee Identification Number) for your business, any VIN numbers for vehicles that qualify, and the taxable gross weight of each vehicle.

Most people who file Form 2290 have the option to file their forms by paper mail or electronically. One exception to this rule is if you are a larger business that has over 25 taxable heavy-weight vehicles you must submit your forms electronically.

If you fail to get your Form 2290 filed in time you can request an extension through the IRS. It is very important that you either get it completed and filed or request the extension as the IRS can charge a penalty as well as monthly interest for any taxes that haven’t been paid when due.

It is also important to note that you need to keep all of your tax records for any vehicles that are taxable highway vehicles that are registered in your name for at least three years after the date the taxes are due or when they were paid. (whichever is later) This would be in case you get audited they will want to go back and review all records.

If you need someone else to be contacted with any questions regarding your Form 2290 it is important that you complete the Third Party Designee section of the form. This gives someone such as an employee of your business, your tax return preparer, accountant, or another 3rd party the ability to discuss your information with the IRS. You can do this by completing the inputting their name, phone number, and a personalized 5-digit PIN that is used to verify their identity as well as marking “yes” in this section of the form.

Other Important Forms Required for Truckers

We have gone over a pretty in-depth review of Form 2290 and how it is used in the trucking industry but it is most certainly not the only tax form you should have knowledge of. Some other forms that you might need to use in your business include the following.

  • W-2 Form - If you are a driver that works under a company you should receive a W-2 form. This shows your gross income as well as any amounts that have been taken out from your employer throughout the year.
  • Form 1040 - This form can be used to file your annual taxable income if you don’t work for a company. While some of these can be very simple, there are some industries, such as trucking, that require you to fill out certain schedules, most commonly the Schedule C in our industry, and are self-employed driver.
  • Form 1099 - This form is what most owner-operators use when filing their taxes as it is used to report any miscellaneous income.
  • Form 2106 - Another form that can be used by truckers is Form 2106. This form gives truckers the ability to deduct certain trucking-related employee and business travel expenses as well as an option to report per diem deductions.

Overall if you are new to the trucking business one of the best investments you can make is finding a tax professional who is familiar with the different forms and how they can be used to benefit your business the most. With so many different options out there it’s important to go to someone you can trust is looking out for you.

While we have gone over a lot of the details regarding Form 2290 and some of the other important tax forms truckers may need, it is important for you to always check the IRS Website for the latest and most up-to-date information as it can change with each tax year.

Keeping documents like W2’s and 2290’s stored in a secure place is important. The Trucking Management Software (TMS) by Truckbase can help you stay organized and spend less time in the office and more time where it matters most. Learn more about how our TMS can help support your business by scheduling a demo today!

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