What is HVUT?
The Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, or HVUT as it is commonly referred to as, is the fee imposed by
the IRS annually on heavy vehicles that operate on public highways at registered gross weights
equal to or exceeding 55,000 pounds.
The taxable gross weight of a vehicle is determined by adding the following:
The actual unloaded weight of the vehicle, when it is fully equipped for service
The actual unloaded weight of any trailers or semitrailers fully equipped for service
normally used in addition to the vehicle
The weight of the maximum load that can be carried on the vehicle and on any trailers or
semitrailers typically used with the vehicle
For Buses, The taxable gross weight is its actual unloaded weight fully equipped for
service in addition to 150 pounds for each seat provided for passengers and driver.
The Tax Calculations:
The tax year for Form 2290 starts in July and ends in June of the next year. If the gross taxable
weight is from 55,000 to 75,000 pounds, the HVUT is $100, plus $22 per thousand pounds over
55,000 pounds. For over 75,000 pound vehicles, the maximum HVUT is $550/ year. The taxes
are lower for logging vehicles. Logging Vehicles are vehicles which are primarily used for
transporting products harvested from the forest and is registered with a state agency as such.
Taxes are prorated for any vehicles placed into service after the month of July.
There are a number of groups that receive exemptions from HVUT. Such as:
State & Local governments, including the District of Columbia
The American Red Cross
Nonprofit volunteer fire departments, ambulance associations or rescue squads
Indian tribal governments (for vehicles used in essential tribal functions)
Mass transportation authorities
There are also a number of vehicles exempted from the HVUT:
Any vehicle not considered to be a highway motor vehicle — e.g., mobile machinery for
non-transportation functions, vehicles specifically designed for off-highway use, and non-
transportation trailers and semi-trailers
Qualified blood collecting vehicles used by qualified blood collector organizations
Mobile machinery that is used for non-transportation purposes
Exempt carriers may be required to file tax forms with the IRS or notify the local department of
motor vehicles (DMV) of their exempt status
There are other vehicles that are exempt based on the number of miles it is driven:
Commercial Vehicles traveling less than 5,000 miles annually
Agriculture Vehicles traveling less than 7,500 miles annually
The above vehicles are called Suspended Vehicles, but must be reported to the IRS.
What is the Purpose of HVUT?
The HVUT is a significant source of transportation funding in the U.S. In 2006 alone, the HVUT
generated more than $1.4 Billion in Federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenue.
The Federal HTF protects America's investment in its transportation infrastructure. In 2007
alone, Federal HTF receipts were $39.9 Billion, with $34.9 Billion dedicated to the HTF's
Highway Account. The Federal HTF finances a wide spectrum of transportation investments
Highway improvements (e.g., land acquisition, other right-of-way costs, preliminary and
construction engineering, construction and reconstruction, resurfacing and restoration
costs of roadways and bridges)
Highway and bridge maintenance
Highway law enforcement
Safety programs (e.g., driver education and training, vehicle inspection programs,
enforcement of vehicle size and weight limits)
Congestion relief projects
Administrative costs (e.g., research, engineering)
Investment in our nation's highway infrastructure helps:
Save money, time, & lives
Reduce the amount and severity of crashes for all kinds of vehicles
Enhance the ability of emergency responders
Lower fuel and insurance costs
Decrease energy consumption
Boost air quality
Improve the efficiency of the movement of goods
Raise business productivity
Strengthen the nation's economic productivity
Since the vast majority of all funds contributed by states to the Federal HTF are returned
through highway improvements, this is a direct incentive for state agencies to take necessary
measures to enhance HVUT compliance.