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Are you in the trucking industry? Then you need to know the ins and outs of the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) in the United States. This tax is a fee that heavy vehicle owners or operators need to pay if their vehicles run on highways across the country. Each year, the fee is determined through an assessment of the weight that the vehicles carry.

What is the taxable weight of your vehicle?

To determine the annual taxable weight of your vehicle, the following components need to be added:

  • the actual unloaded weight of the vehicle fully equipped for service
  • the actual unloaded weight of any trailers or semitrailers fully equipped for service customarily used in combination with the vehicle, and
  • the weight of the maximum load customarily carried on the vehicle and on any trailers or semitrailers customarily used in combination with the vehicle

Vehicles under 55,000 pounds do not have to pay HVUT. Once you have made this calculation, you will be able to determine how much HVUT you need to pay. If the weight is 55,000 – 75,000 pounds, then you will need to pay $100 as well as $22 for every 1,000 pounds that you are over the baseline 55,000 weight. Vehicles weighing over 75,000 pounds will need to pay $550 per year.

Who is exempted from HVUT?

Certain groups and organizations are exempted from this tax. Non-profit organizations such as rescue groups and ambulance associations, for example, do not have to pay HVUT. Other groups that are exempted include the American Red Cross, the Federal Government, Indian tribal governments (if the vehicles are used for official purposes) as well as mass transportation authorities.

Your business may be exempted from HVUT if you travel less than 5,000 miles per year or if the vehicle isn’t used on public highways. For more information about HVUT or to download the IRS forms that you need to complete, visit the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration website. 

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