2290 Instructions Simplified

The IRS hasn’t been known for making anything simple. Like, at all. Ever. In all their existence. When it comes to the Form 2290 instructions, it’s okay that the IRS is not simple because you have me to make it simple for you.

My goal of this article is to take IRS jibberish that seems to be written in this fashion-

IRS: The motor vehicle parked adjacent to the standing infrastructure on the northeast corner of the 1600 block is painted by an irrelevant painter *insert irrelevant name here* to whom chose the shade of red to coat the exterior portion of the motor vehicle to give it a distinct, vibrant shade according to the 11th jurisdiction of the United States.

And make it look like this-

Me: The truck is red.

The 2290 Instructions issued by the IRS is 11 long pages that include many things. I have listed below what I feel are key points on the 2290 instructions and related them to e-Filing.

The Basics

Getting Started: The 2290 instructions say that you need to have an EIN, VIN, and taxable gross weight to begin filing this form.

Who Must File: Anyone who travels on American highways with a vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 55,000 pounds or more is required to file the Form 2290.

Taxable Vehicles: Taxable vehicles are vehicles with a GVW of 55,000 pounds or more.

When To File: The dates are a bit different every year. Typically, the new forms become available early July and are due late August. Register with our website and we will email you with exact due dates every year.

How To File: With us, of course! The IRS requires e-Filing when reporting 25 vehicles or more, but also encourages all taxpayers to file electronically. Paper filing is an option when reporting 24 vehicles or less. Paper filing requires you to waste gas and drive to your local IRS office, wait in long lines, and not even be guaranteed to get your stamped Schedule 1. Mailing in your Form 2290 takes even longer (weeks). That’s why we recommend you e-File with us, because we can get you your stamped Schedule 1 in about 15 minutes or so and we will help you with any questions you may have.

Company Information

Employer Identification Number (EIN): An EIN is a 9-digit number issued by the IRS to identify a business entity. If you do not currently have an EIN, check out this article and video for steps to apply for one: https://www.2290tax.com/2290-form.php#Do_I_Need_EIN

Third Party Designee: The Third Party Designee is a person you can give permission to speak on your behalf for this Form. This is the last question listed on Step 1. Having a Third Party Designee is completely optional.

Consent to Disclosure of Tax Information: The Consent to Disclose is a question found on Step 1 of our online form. This question is totally optional; it doesn’t help you or harm you. By selecting ‘yes’ to this question, you are giving the IRS permission to share your information reported.

Signature: The signature for the online Form 2290 is called a ‘5-digit numerical PIN.’ It is a made up number and can be different from year to year.

Vehicle Information

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): A VIN is a unique number that is used to identify a specific vehicle.

Taxable Gross WeightTaxable gross weight is any vehicle weight that is 55,000 pounds or more.

Tax Computation and How to Pay

Figuring the Tax and Tax Computation: The amount of tax that is owed per truck depends on many different factors: when the vehicle was put on the road, how much the truck weighs, and how many miles it travels. It can all be a bit confusing, but our website will do all that math for you. 

Partial-Period Tax Tables: This is for vehicles first used after July. Our website will prorate the amount for this also.

How To Pay The Tax: For e-Filing, there are three methods of payment:

Click the links to read more about each method of payment. You will be asked on Step 4 of our online form which method of payment you would like to choose.

Penalties and Interest: You may receive a letter from the IRS with penalties and interest if you file your Form 2290 late. If you do receive any penalties and interest, call us and we can tell you the steps to clear them from your account. Most of the time, they are pretty easy to get out of. You can also check out this article that explain ways to get out of Form 2290 fines and penalties.

Proof Your 2290 was Accepted

Schedule 1 (Form 2290): The Stamped Schedule 1 is a receipt for an accepted Form 2290. Whether you e-file or paper file your Form 2290, this receipt is required for DMV Registration. This document will show the VINs of the trucks you have listed on the Form 2290, both taxable trucks and suspended vehicles. 


Keep good records. This could include:

  • Description of the vehicle, including the VIN
  • Weight of loads carried
  • Date acquired vehicle and the information of the person you bought it from
  • Date vehicle sold/transferred and the information of the other person
  • How and when you disposed of the vehicle
  • Recording actual highway mileage (this is good especially when reporting suspended vehicles)

How To Get Tax Help

Call us at (909) 596-0050. We try our best to answer any questions you may have. If we don’t know the answer to your question, we will try to find someone who does know. We believe in giving good information and service. Simplifying the Form 2290 Instructions is just one service we provide.

Written by Molly Harris

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