So you just bought your first rig. Congratulations! Now you need to be able to drive it legally in order for it to start making money for you. Filing Form 2290 is a key step to ensure regulatory compliance. A question we often hear is, “When do I need to file my Form 2290?”
For a vehicle you just purchased, IRS instructions state that “Form 2290 must be filed for the month the taxable vehicle is first used on public highways during the current period.”
Let’s say you bought a truck on May 14, 2014, and plan to use it immediately. The tax period runs 7/1-6/30 each year. You need to file Form 2290 and pay the tax for the current period, 2013-14, by 6/30/14.
Of course, 7/1/14 starts a new current period for 2014-15. That means if you plan to continue to use the vehicle for that period, you need to file Form 2290 and pay the tax by 8/31/14, since the first month of use for the current period would be July, 2014.
Got all that? Basically, you need to pay the tax and file Form 2290 no later than the month after you first use the truck. And every year after that first year, you need to pay the tax and file Form 2290 no later than 8/31/14 if you use the truck in July.
When you file Form 2290 and the IRS accepts your filing, you get a Schedule 1. That document proves you are current on your tax. Your state motor vehicle agency will want to see the Schedule 1 before issuing you the tags. In future years, your state agency may allow you to use the prior period Schedule 1 for a couple of months before needing proof for the new period. Texas, for example, permits proof of payment of the prior period through October 1.
You can file your Form 2290 electronically or on paper. The IRS requires anyone with 25 or more vehicles to file electronically, and they encourage everyone to file electronically. If you file electronically, you save yourself a trip to the local IRS office (if there is one local to you), and you can get your Schedule 1 within minutes of the IRS receiving and accepting your return.
You receive a pdf of your Schedule 1 when you file electronically. Print it and take it when you go to register your vehicle. You can access that pdf copy at any time in your account online, so you can print it again should you misplace the original copy.
There are other advantages to filing electronically, as well, such as the bank-level security offered and the ability to pre-file for an upcoming year. You can even test it out to see how easy it is before deciding to complete the filing.
ez2290.com provides full service HVUT (Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax) e-Filing backed by live phone and chat support. Our experience in the software and tax filing industries ensures that you get best of both the worlds – online and full service assisted filing. In either case, you have terrific support at no additional cost, with 24 hour support via chat and email during July and August.