What is the penalty for not paying the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT)?

The due date for filing your 2290 to pay your excise tax is August 31 each year. For 2014, the deadline is actually September 2, since August 31 falls on a weekend. What happens if you fail to pay the tax when due?

The Penalties Can Be Steep
Not surprisingly, the IRS will penalize any owner who fails to file their 2290 in a timely manner. The amount of penalty is 4.5% of the tax due. They assess that penalty on a monthly basis for up to five months.

That’s just the start, though. If you don’t file on time, and you fail to pay the tax due, there is an additional penalty of 0.5% of the total tax due. Interest charges accrue for each month the payment is late as well. Those interest charges equal another 0.54% per month.

Here is an example. You owe $550 for your heavy road use tax. You fail to file and you fail to pay the tax due for five months. The penalties would add up to $123.75 for the 4.5% failure to file, plus $13.75 for the 0.5% late payment penalty. Interest would add more than $3 per month at the rate of 0.54% per month on the balance due each month. In other words, you’re looking at a total due of over $700 for failing to file and pay your tax in a timely manner.

To look at it another way, you’d pay an amount over 27% higher than the original tax that was due. And to remain on the road, you’re going to wind up paying the tax eventually anyway.

But wait, there’s more…
Those penalties and interest are on a federal tax payment. You may also find that your state suspends the vehicle registration. If you subsequently are stopped by law enforcement, you’d face a ticket and fine. That could add a substantial amount to the penalties and interest mentioned above.

What to Do
File your 2290  and pay your tax! No one likes paying taxes, but it is a cost of doing business. To minimize the amount you pay, file by September 2, 2014. The fastest and easiest way to remain in compliance is to e-File your 2290 online. You can pay for the filing on your credit card and pay your taxes via EFTPS, ACH bank draft, or by mailing a check to the IRS. Either way you pay, make sure you have beaten the deadline.

Bottom Line
Don’t risk the possibility of losing your vehicle registration or facing additional fines and penalties. Use our e-File service to remain in compliance and stay on the road.

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