Special Equipment: The Kind of Trucks that Don’t Need a 2290

Did you know there are trucks that weigh more than 55,000 lbs, and travel more than 5,000 miles, that DON’T need to file Form 2290? There are a few special kinds of trucks that the IRS doesn’t consider “Highway Motor Vehicles.” We will cover two Categories, but they are all tied together by one key element: Non-Transportation Function.

Specially Designed Mobil Machinery for Non Transportation Functions

There are three conditions that the IRS uses to define our first category. All three must apply to the truck in order for it to qualify.

1. The truck chassis has to be permanently mounted to the machinery.

2. The chassis has been specially designed to only carry the machinery.

3. The chassis could not be used to carry any other load without substantial structural modification.

If all three of the above conditions apply to your truck, then you don’t need to file and pay Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT).  But be careful and keep good records of what this truck does. If a reasonable person could say that your vehicle was used for a transportation function (like loading and unloading a regular 18 wheeler) it may qualify after all. Be prepared to make your case and keep good records handy.

A good example is the truck to the left. It is a crane. It is not designed to haul a load over the public roads; instead it is designed to lift a person up high so they can make necessary repairs.

Vehicles Specially Designed For Off-Highway Transportation

This one is open to a little bit more interpretation than the first. Basically, if your truck is designed for the highway, you’re not an “off-highway” vehicle. If it’s specially designed to be off roads, but CAN travel on the roads to get from work site to work site, then you’re probably in the clear.

A good example is in the picture to the right. This crane is a vehicle with a motor, but it is definitely not designed to haul a load over the highway. Just because it may be able to run on the road, doesn’t mean that is the main purpose of this vehicle. Its work is not transportation or highway related, instead its work is construction related.

Another good example would be the massive equipment designed and used in commercial mining operations. Those vehicles may be over 55,000 pounds, and are propelled by their own motor, and may even used for transportation around the mine, but they are so massive you’ll never see them on highways. We’re keeping a Pinterest Board full of examples here. They aren’t they designed for highways, and as such don’t need to pay a HVUT.

But My Tag Office Wants a 2290…

If your registration office wants you to get a 2290 anyway you should show them page 3 of the Form 2290 Instructions, and provide proof that your vehicle meets all of the requirements within the section. Pictures of your trucks could be helpful, especially if they help to demonstrate the “off highway” or “non transportation” features. If they still insist on a Form 2290, call us, and we will review your proof and see what we can do to help you!

Written by Casey Bullard

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