Who Needs to Fill Out the 2290?

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A simple question deserves a simple answer, right? Come on, this is the IRS we’re talking about and nothing is simple with them. Even when it comes to the question, whose name goes on the Form 2290? Does it even matter? As long as they get their money, they shouldn’t care, but unfortunately, it does. Filing a proper form 2290 can help you avoid any late fees and penalties. However, we’ll break down who exactly needs to fill out Form 2290 and who should sign on the line that is dotted. That way, you can confidently file online and understand exactly what the tax code means.

Filing when There’s Only One Person on the Tags

“By whom paid. The tax imposed by this section shall be paid by the person in whose name the highway motor vehicle is, or is required to be, registered under the law of the State or contiguous foreign country in which such vehicle is, or is required to be, registered.”

The Internal Revenue Code 4481(b)

Right there, that’s whose name needs to file the 2290. Is that not clear enough? Essentially, all that means is that if there’s one name on the tags, then that name files and pays the Form 2290.

For example, if you own and operate your own truck as a private contractor, then you would file and pay your Form 2290 with your EIN. Your tags will match your Form 2290, and it’s quick and easy.

The problem arises when there are two or more names on the tags. If this sounds like your company, keep reading.

“Any highway motor vehicle which, at any time in the taxable period, is registered both in the name of the owner of the vehicle and in the name of any other person, is considered, for purposes of the regulations in this part, to be registered, at such time, solely in the name of the owner of the vehicle.”

Treasury Regulations

In other words, when two or more people are listed on the tags, the legal owner of the truck is responsible. It’s a regulation term called “Dual Registration” and it affects anyone with a larger operation.

Dual Registration Effects Who Will Fill Out Form 2290

When there’s only two people, it’s relatively straightforward. Let’s say you own a truck. The tags are in your name and everything is hunky-dory. Then you hire a driver to drive your truck. You would then file Form 2290 with your company EIN and, once again, the Form 2290 and the tags will match.

In some cases, your driver will get the tags in their name. It is still your responsibility to file and pay for Form 2290 even though the tags will not match the form. This is a dual registration. You, as the owner of the truck, are responsible for that truck and therefore responsible for all taxes and fees. Your driver is not the responsible owner, and therefore they’re not responsible for filing.

The tricky part is when there are three or more people involved. For instance, you lease a fleet of trucks from Big Trucking Lease Co. You get the tags under your name and then hire a driver to drive one of the trucks. You still need to file the Form 2290. The tags are in your name and you are responsible. Therefore, you file.

But if you get your tags and the Big Trucking Lease Co is the registered owner of the vehicle, then things change. We’re back to dual registration. Big Trucking Lease Co files the 2290 because they’re the owner responsible for the truck, despite the tags being in your name. The tags and the Form 2290 will not match in this case.

If you need help filing your Form 2290 and need to talk about dual registration, our tax experts at 2290 Online Form can help. With a live customer service representative ready to answer your questions, you can get answers and file faster with us. Give us a call today at (800) 530-6774 to see how much time we can save you.

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