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Understanding the Heavy Vehicle Tax

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government

Understanding the Heavy Vehicle Tax

James Druman
December 28, 2009

James Druman

If the only things certain in life are death and taxes, just be glad it's time to pay taxes and not time to clock out. If you're a truck driver or if you operate a trucking company, you might be trying to wrap your head around the HVUT, otherwise known as the Heavy Vehicle Tax.

An annual tax that is levied on larger automobiles that conduct commercial operations on America's highways, this tax does a lot to keep our roads functioning properly, uncongested, and reasonably safe.

How is it Calculated?

The HVUT is calculated by figuring out the gross taxable weight of a heavy vehicle. This number is arrived at by look at three figures.

One is the weight of the vehicle when it is ready to hit the road but is not yet loaded up. Then they look at the weight of trailers and semitrailers that are going to be used with the truck—also ready to roll but not yet loaded. And third, they figure in the highest load that will typically be carried on the vehicle and its trailers.

If the combination of these three figures comes to below 55,000 pounds, the operator is not responsible for paying the HVUT.

If the figures add up to somewhere between 55,000 and 75,000 pounds, the operator must pay $100 + and additional $22 for every 1000 pounds over the initial 55,000.

If the combined weight adds up to over 75,000 pounds, the operator must pay $550—this is the maximum amount that can be levied for this tax.

The Benefits of the Heavy Vehicle Tax

And when you consider what the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax does for society as a whole, less than $550 is a small price to pay. This tax helps fund the highways, getting new projects underway and providing the budgets for the constant maintenance needed to resurface and maintain roads and bridges.

It also keeps money coming to fund the emergency crews and law enforcement that keep the roads safe. It pays for programs that ease congestion and allow for the smooth flow of traffic across the nation and through our cities, and the money even goes to driver's education and other programs.

All of these are things that go towards making a trucker's life and business a little easier. Can you imagine the rutted, chaotic roads that would exist if the heavy vehicle tax did not? Not that it funds everything—because other taxpayers contribute as well—but it does help to ensure the money keeps flowing.

To find out more about e-filing for irs form 2290 and paying your heavy vehicle use tax, go to http://www.YourTruckTax.com and find out what you need to do to get started. It's part of being a better businessman and making a positive contribution to society.

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