2290 Instructions and the Foolproof Way to File Online

Your Form 2290 due date is Friday. For those of you who like numbers better: August 31st is your deadline to file your 2290. If you operate a motor vehicle that exceeds 50,000 pounds, you owe the IRS what is called a Heavy Vehicle Use Tax; if a motor vehicle matching this description is registered under your name in the U.S. (this includes Washington D.C.), Canada, or Mexico, then you need to file a Form 2290. Whether this is complete news to you, or you just haven’t gotten around to filing yet, here’s some 2290 instructions so you can file online.

The 2290 Instructions You Need So You Can File Online

Some background before we begin: the HVUT is based on your first use month and is due by the last day of the month following the first use month. For example, if a truck is first used in September, then the Form 2290 is due by October 31st. The current HVUT tax period began on July 1, 2018, and will end on June 30, 2019. The reason this Friday is a big deal is that a lot of you hit the road in July.
Filing your 2290 online helps you get your stamped Schedule 1, which is what the IRS gives you as sort of a receipt. Your stamped Schedule 1 is how you’ll be able to get your tags and operate legally. 

Materials Needed To File IRS Form 2290

The fastest way to file your HVUT is to go to an IRS-authorized e-filer like our sister product ExpressTruckTax. E-filing eliminates the wait, and since you have three days until your IRS FORM 2290 is due, I expect you’ll want to file as soon as possible. Pro tip: you’ll need to gather some information in order to make filing your 2290 online go even faster.

Make sure you have:

  • Your EIN (Employer Identification Number) –– NOT your Social Security Number
  • Your business name and its address
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Hint: it’ll be 17 characters, including numbers and letters.
  • Authorized Signatory Details
  • Vehicle’s Gross Taxable Weight (how much it weighs when fully equipped for service, minus the weight of you and any loads).

Have your credit card or routing number on-hand. You’ll need the routing number if you plan to pay the IRS via direct debit. You can also pay via Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW), Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), or mail a check or money order.

You can find your gross taxable weight in two places: on your cab card or written on the sticker inside the door to your cab. Check “GVW” on the sticker to get the number. However, it is important to note that if you have your cab card, file your IRS 2290 Form 2018 based on the number on that card. If your vehicle has been worked on, the weight listed inside the door might be outdated, which can cause you some serious trouble at weigh stations down the line.

IRS Form 2290 Instructions

Step 1

Go ahead and create a free ExpressTruckTax account. (It’s cool. She’s our sister product, we can vouch for her.)

Step 2

Click the hard-to-miss orange “Start New Return” button to start filing your 2290 online, and enter the basic information for your trucking business (Name, address, and EIN) you should already have nearby.

Step 3

ExpressTruckTax bases their information on your vehicle’s first used month, so go ahead and enter the month and year for that. Since you’re filing for the August 31st deadline, chances are your first use month was July.

Step 4

Enter that gross taxable weight number we asked you to hunt down (remember: go by the figure on your cab card if you can). At this time, you will also include your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and taxable gross weight. Then, select if your vehicle was explicitly used for logging or agricultural purposes. If so, you can receive a slight break on your taxes. This break does NOT exempt you from filing! You still need to file your IRS 2290 Form 2018 in order be considered as operating legally.

Step 5

ExpressTruckTax then calculates the tax you owe the IRS. After it gives you this amount, pick your preferred payment options: credit card, debit card, direct debit, electronic funds withdrawal, EFTPS, check, or money order.

Step 6

Next, ExpressTruckTax lets you review all your information and make any corrections. Their system will perform what’s called an instant internal audit, but it doesn’t hurt if you double- or quadruple-check your VIN. Remember, any filing errors will slow this process down.

Step 7

Everything looks good? Great! All you have to do now is transmit your form directly to the IRS. Just enter a 5-digit code (of your choosing) at the bottom of your form to electronically sign and transmit.

Step 8

Get back to driving/sleeping/walking your dog with the peace of mind that your Schedule 1 will be on its way to you within the next twenty minutes.

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