2290Tax.com Logo

Form 2290 “Date of First Use”

October 17, 2012

“Date of First Use” is a phrase used by the IRS - and it packs a punch. Those four little words describe the date you need on your Form 2290, whether or not your taxes are prorated and by how much, AND it covers whether your Form 2290 is on time, or late!! That’s a lot of information packed into four little words.

Date of First Use refers - literally - to the date you first use the truck during the tax period. The tax period is July 1, to the following June 30th.

Form 2290 - Part 1 Date First Used Box

If you’re an owner operator, who has owned the same truck for years and drives all year around - then the question of what date goes on your Form 2290 is easy. July 1, of the current tax period will almost always be correct.

But what happens when you’re not driving in July? Or when you buy a new truck?

These questions make the “Date of First Use” seem more complicated then it is. The date of first use on your Form 2290 is the month you first use your truck, after June 30th each year. If the date you first drive your truck is August 1st, then AUGUST is your date of first use. Most truckers drive in July, so for most, July is the date of first use.

IRS Form 2290 Instructions - Page 3 talks about When to File

Not Driving in July?

If you don’t drive in July - then ask yourself one simple question:

“When will I start driving or using this truck?”

Then answer yourself, because that answer is your “Date of First Use.” That leads us to the next question, “When is this due?”

Due Dates

The current Form 2290 Instructions state, “Form 2290 must be filed by the last day of the month following the month of first use.” When you start using a truck in the middle of a year, the Form 2290 isn’t due until the end of the following month, and even better, taxes will be prorated.

The Form 2290 instructions have a chart that explains the due dates, and it’s spelled out below for you.

Form 2290 Instructions - Date First Used Chart

It simple English, it goes a little something like this: Form 2290 is due by the end of the month after you start using a truck.

Examples:
When you buy or start using a truck any day in January, then taxes are due by the end of February.
When you buy or start using a truck any day in February, then taxes are due by the end of March
When you buy or start using a truck any day in March, then taxes are due by the end of April.
When you buy or start using a truck any day in April, then taxes are due by the end of May.
When you buy or start using a truck any day in May, then taxes are due by the end of June.
When you buy or start using a truck any day in June, then taxes are due by the end of July.
When you buy or start using a truck any day in July, then taxes are due by the end of August.
When you buy or start using a truck any day in August, then taxes are due by the end of September.
When you buy or start using a truck any day in September, then taxes are due by the end of October.
When you buy or start using a truck any day in October, then taxes are due by the end ofNovember.
When you buy or start using a truck any day in November, then taxes are due by the end of December.
When you buy or start using a truck any day in December, then taxes are due by the end of January.

I’m sure you sense the pattern here. The end of the month after you start using the truck is when both the form and the taxes are due.

Not using the truck?

If you’re not using the truck, then taxes aren’t due, so don’t pay tax!! File suspended, and don’t worry about it until you do start using or driving the truck!! This way you have a record of what did happen, and it’s less likely that someone will question your down time.

Cover Your Buns!!

If you own a vehicle - we here at 2290Tax have to recommend you file a Form 2290 every year before the annual due date of August 31st. File Suspended if you don't know when you'll start driving. You never know when the IRS Audit Monster will appear from the deep dark depths under your bed, and it never hurts to have more proof then they ask for.

Cover your buns, and have proof on file regarding your date of first use. You could use a basic odometer log, maintenance records, other receipts, and DOT Daily Logs as some examples. Some states also offer or require “Non-Op” certificates, and or statements of fact about the registration status. Ask your tag office about getting a “Non-Op” or something like it if you really are going to be off the roads for a while.

Join US

The services offered by 2290Tax.com include way more then just e-filing. We help you prepare your Form 2290, e-file it, we can recommend local service providors to help you, and we are available to connect via Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and YouTube. Join us and see what people just like you have to say...