Persons liable for tax.
(a) In general.
A person is liable for the tax imposed by section 4481 with respect to the use of a highway motor vehicle in a taxable period if the vehicle is registered in the person's name—
At the time of the first use of the vehicle in the taxable period;
In the case of a vehicle under a suspension of tax described in § 41.4483-3(a), at the time the use on the public highways during the taxable period exceeds 5,000 miles (7,500 miles for agricultural vehicles);
At the time that an increase in the taxable gross weight of the vehicle results in an additional tax liability (as computed under § 41.4481-1(c)(3)) if the increase occurs after the month in which the vehicle was first used in the taxable period; or
At the time of any use during the taxable period that is after the first use during the period, but only to the extent that the tax or any installment payment of the tax has not previously been paid.
In any case in which more than one person is liable for the tax for a taxable period, the liability of all persons is satisfied to the extent that the tax is paid by any person liable for the tax.
The application of paragraph (a)(1) of this section may be illustrated by the following example:
In the taxable period beginning July 1, 1985, the first taxable use of a particular highway motor vehicle having a taxable gross weight of 60,000 pounds occurs on July 10, 1985, at which time the vehicle is registered in the name of Y. On September 1, 1985, Y sells the vehicle to X who registers and uses the vehicle before the end of such taxable period. Since the vehicle was registered in the name of Y at the time of its first taxable use, Y is liable for the total tax of $210 ($100 (5×$22)) imposed on the use of the vehicle for the taxable period. X is also liable for $210 tax or any part thereof, but only to the extent that Y does not pay it. To the extent that either X or Y pays the tax the other party is relieved of such liability.
(b) Evidence of prior use of second-hand vehicle.
Every person who, at any time in the taxable period, acquires and has registered in his name a secondhand highway motor vehicle shall obtain and keep as a part of his records evidence, which he believes to be true, showing whether there was or was not a taxable use of such vehicle at any time in such taxable period prior to the time when the vehicle was registered in his name. Such person shall also obtain and keep as evidence a statement from the transferor as to whether there was in effect, at the time the vehicle was acquired, a suspension under § 41.4483-3(a) of the tax imposed by section 4481(a). The evidence may take the form of a written statement, signed and dated by the person from whom the vehicle was acquired, showing whether there was or was not a prior taxable use of the vehicle and whether there was a suspension of tax in the taxable period. If the vehicle is acquired from a dealer in highway motor vehicles, the statement may be obtained from such dealer or from the person from whom the dealer acquired such vehicle. If evidence is not obtained showing whether there was or was not a prior taxable use of such vehicle and whether there was a suspension of tax in the taxable period, such person shall keep as a part of his records a written statement of the reason why he was unable to obtain such evidence.
(c) Cross references.
For provisions relating to interest on underpayments of tax, see § 301.6601-1 of this chapter (Regulations on Procedure and Administration).
For records required to be kept, see § 41.6001-1.
For rules applicable to installment payment of tax for highway use tax liability, see § 41.6156-1.
For rules applicable to time of filing returns, see § 41.6071(a)-1.
[T.D. 6743, 29 FR 7930, June 23, 1964, as amended by T.D. 8027, 50 FR 21247, May 23, 1985; T.D. 8879, 65 FR 17153, Mar. 31, 2000]