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IRS Form 2290 Instructions: Recordkeeping Requirements

May 13, 2014

Written by Casey Jenkins

Do you know what records you need to keep? Do you know how long to keep them? The Form 2290 Instructions talk a lot about it this year.

What Records

No matter how simple or complex your Form 2290 is, you are required to keep records of it. Many of the specifics that the IRS wants to see are things you probably already have saved somewhere else. For example you need:

  1. The VIN and a description of the truck
  2. Weight receipts
  3. Bill of sale with your purchase date and sellers name and address
  4. Bill of sale with your sale date and buyers name and address

Those are all things you would want to keep anyway, and probably for more than just the 2290 Form audit period. But you also need:

  1. A detailed record of your use by date. (think log books or IFTA trip logs)
  2. And if your trucks are suspended, then you need the Suspended Records we talked about recently. Read about the types of suspended vehicle record keeping by clicking: here.

How Long

3 Years is the IRS minimum for recordkeeping, but I say play it safe. Keep all the records relating to your truck for 5 years. If you keep EVERYTHING that long, then if you need one kind of records to substantiate something else (like using logbooks for IFTA reporting) then you’ve got it all ready. Plus, it’s easier to remember one time frame for everything then it is to remember a different time frame for everything.

Cover your Buns!

All these records you keep have to be AVAILABLE for IRS inspection.

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I’ve seen farmers get dinged for full taxes plus penalties simply because they didn’t have records. Don’t let this happen to you!!