# 26 CFR § 41.4481-1 - Imposition and computation of tax.

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§ 41.4481-1 Imposition and computation of tax.

(a) In general. Tax is imposed on the use during a taxable period of any registered highway motor vehicle that (together with the semitrailers and trailers customarily used in connection with highway motor vehicles of the same type as such highway motor vehicle) has a taxable gross weight of at least 55,000 pounds.

(b) Rate of tax. For the rate of tax generally, see section 4481(a). For the rate of tax for certain vehicles used in logging, see section 4483(e). For a special rule for the taxable period in which the tax terminates, see section 4482(d).

(c) Computation of tax -

(1) In general. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (c), the tax on the use of a particular highway motor vehicle for a taxable period is computed as follows:

(i) For vehicles with a taxable gross weight of at least 55,000 pounds, but not over 75,000 pounds, add to \$100 an amount equal to \$22 for each 1,000 pounds (or fraction thereof) in excess of 55,000 pounds; and

(ii) For vehicles with a taxable gross weight over 75,000 pounds, the tax is \$550.

(2) Certain prorated taxable periods. If the first taxable use of a particular highway motor vehicle is made after the first month of the taxable period, the tax on the use of such vehicle for such taxable period is computed by multiplying the amount of tax that would be due for a full taxable period as computed under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, by a fraction. Such fraction shall have as its numerator the number of months in the taxable period beginning with the month of first taxable use and as its denominator the number of months in the entire taxable period. For purposes of determining the fraction, any part of a month is counted as a full month. (See example (2) of paragraph (e) of this section.)

(3) Increase in taxable gross weight during the taxable period. If the taxable gross weight of a vehicle increases during the month in which the vehicle is first used in a taxable period, the tax for the vehicle for the taxable period is computed on the basis of the increased weight. If the taxable gross weight of a vehicle increases after the month in which the vehicle was first used in a taxable period, the additional tax liability, if any, that results from the increased weight is calculated according to the following formula:

$\left[\left({T}_{1}×\frac{P}{12}\right)+\left({T}_{2}×\frac{R}{12}\right)\right]-{T}_{1},$

where:
T1 = Tax imposed for a full taxable period (or partial taxable period as determined under paragraph (c)(2) of this section) at the vehicle's previously reported taxable gross weight.
T2 = Tax imposed for the same taxable period as used in T1 at the vehicle's increased taxable gross weight.
P = The number of months in the taxable period during which the vehicle's taxable gross weight was as previously reported for such taxable period. This number does not include the month in which the vehicle's taxable gross weight increased.
R = The number of months remaining in the taxable period including the month in which the vehicle's taxable gross weight was increased.
If tax was imposed for a partial taxable period as determined under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the additional tax is determined by substituting the number of months in such partial taxable period for “12” in the above formula.

(4) Prorated taxable period for sold, destroyed, or stolen vehicles -

(i) In general. The tax on a taxpayer's use of a highway vehicle for a taxable period is determined under paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of this section if -

(A) The vehicle is destroyed or stolen before the first day of the last month in the taxable period and is not later used by the taxpayer during the period; or

(B) The taxpayer sells the vehicle before the first day of the last month in the taxable period and does not later use the vehicle during the period.

(ii) Computation of tax. If the tax on a taxpayer's use of a highway vehicle for a taxable period is determined under this paragraph (c)(4)(ii), the tax is computed by multiplying the amount of tax that would be due for a full taxable period, as computed under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, by a fraction. The fraction has as its numerator the number of months in the period from the first day of the month in the period in which the first taxable use of the highway motor vehicle occurs to and including the last day of the month in which the highway motor vehicle was sold, destroyed, or stolen, and as its denominator the number of months in the entire taxable period. (See paragraph (d) Example (3)(i) of this section.)

(iii) Overpayment. If a taxpayer's liability for the tax on the use of a highway vehicle for a taxable period is determined under paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of this section, any tax the taxpayer paid under section 4481(a) on the use of the vehicle for such period in excess of the tax calculated under paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of this section is an overpayment of tax.

(iv) Definition of destroyed vehicle. For purposes of this paragraph (c)(4), a highway motor vehicle is destroyed if the vehicle is damaged due to an accident or other casualty to such an extent that it is not economical to rebuild.

(v) Form and content of claim. A claim for refund of an overpayment described in paragraph (c)(4)(iii) of this section must be made on Form 8849, “Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes” (or such other form as the Commissioner may designate) in accordance with the instructions for that form. A claim for a credit must be made on Form 2290, “Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return” (or such other form as the Commissioner may designate) in accordance with the instructions for that form. A claim for refund or credit for any vehicle must include -

(A) The vehicle identification number and taxable gross weight of the vehicle;

(B) The date of the sale, destruction, or theft of the vehicle; and

(C) If the vehicle was sold, the name and address of the purchaser of the vehicle.

(vi) Tax on buyer's use of second-hand vehicles. If a vehicle is sold during the taxable period and a credit or refund of the tax imposed by section 4481 is allowable upon the sale under paragraph (c)(4)(iii) of this section, tax is imposed on the use of the vehicle after the sale and before the end of the taxable period. (See paragraph (c)(4)(vii) of this section for the rules regarding the computation of tax after the sale and before the end of the taxable period.)

(vii) Computation of tax on second-hand vehicles. The tax under paragraph (c)(4)(vi) of this section on the use of a vehicle after a sale upon which a credit or refund is allowable is computed by multiplying the amount of tax that would be due for a full taxable period as computed under paragraph (c)(1) of this section by a fraction. The fraction has as its numerator the number of months in the period from the first day of the month in which the first taxable use of the vehicle after the sale occurs (the first day of the month after such month if the first taxable use after the sale occurs in the month of the sale) through the end of the taxable period, and as its denominator the number of months in the entire taxable period. (See paragraph (d) Example (3)(ii) of this section.)

(5) Decrease in taxable gross weight, discontinued use, or converted use. The computation of the tax is not affected, and no right to a credit or refund of any tax paid under section 4481 arises, if in any taxable period -

(i) The taxable gross weight of a highway motor vehicle is decreased;

(ii) The use of a highway motor vehicle is discontinued (for reasons other than sale, destruction, or theft as described in paragraph (c)(4) of this section); or

(iii) The highway motor vehicle is converted to a use that is exempt from the tax imposed by section 4481(a).

(d) Examples. The application of §§ 41.4481-1, 41.4481-2, and 41.4482(c)-1(c) may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example (1).
In the taxable period beginning July 1, 1984, the first taxable use of a particular highway motor vehicle, a bus, having a taxable gross weight of 56,000 pounds, occurs on July 10, 1984, at which time the vehicle is registered in the name of X. A tax of \$122 (\$100 + \$22) is imposed on X for the use of such vehicle for such taxable period.
Example (2).
On July 1, 1984, X has registered in his name a highway motor vehicle having a taxable gross weight of 60,000 pounds. The vehicle is in “dead storage” until August 10, 1984, at which time X starts using the vehicle on the public highways in carrying on his trucking business. On August 10, 1984, the vehicle is still registered in X's name. Since the first taxable use of this highway motor vehicle during the taxable period occurred on August 10, 1984, X is required to pay a tax of \$192.50 ([\$100 + (5 × \$22)] × 11/12) for such taxable period.
Example (3).
(i) In July, X uses a vehicle that is registered in X's name and has a taxable gross weight of 70,000 pounds. The vehicle is not a logging vehicle. X pays the \$430 of tax imposed by section 4481 for the taxable period. On September 2 of the same calendar year, X sells the vehicle to Y. X's tax is calculated under paragraph (c)(4)(ii) by multiplying the amount of tax that would be due for a full taxable period by a fraction that has as its numerator the number of months in the period from the first day of the month in which X's first taxable use of the highway motor vehicle occurs to and including the last day of the month in which the vehicle was sold, and as its denominator the number of months in the entire taxable period. Thus, X's tax for the period is \$107.50 (3/12 of \$430), and X may claim a credit or refund of \$322.50 (\$430.00−\$107.50) in accordance with § 41.4481-1(c)(4)(v) after X sells the vehicle.

(ii) On September 23, Y uses the vehicle. Y is liable for tax on the use of the vehicle during the taxable period ending June 30 of the following calendar year. Y's tax is calculated under paragraph (c)(4)(vii) by multiplying the amount of tax that would be due for a full taxable period by a fraction that has as its numerator the number of months in the period from the first day of the month in which Y's first taxable use of the vehicle after the sale occurs (the first day of the month after such month if the first taxable use after the sale occurs in the month of the sale) through the end of the taxable period, and as its denominator the number of months in the entire taxable period. Y's first use of the vehicle occurs in the month of the sale. Accordingly, Y's tax is based on the number of months in the period from the first day of October (the month following the month of the first taxable use) through the end of June, and Y owes a section 4481 tax of \$322.50 (9/12 of \$430) for the taxable period.

Example (4).
Assume the same facts as in Example (3)(i), except that on September 2, X sells the vehicle to Dealer, a dealer in highway motor vehicles. X may claim a credit or refund of \$322.50. Dealer operates the vehicle exclusively for the purpose of demonstration, which is not a “use” of the vehicle under § 41.4482(c)-1(c). On May 2 of the following calendar year, Dealer sells the vehicle to Y. Dealer does not owe a section 4481 tax and may not claim a refund. Y's first taxable use of the vehicle occurs on May 3. Y's first taxable use of the vehicle does not occur in the month of a sale upon which a credit or refund is allowable. Accordingly, Y's tax is calculated under paragraph (c)(2) by multiplying the amount of tax that would be due for a full taxable period by a fraction which has as its numerator the number of months in the taxable period beginning with the month of first taxable use and as its denominator the number of months in the entire taxable period. The numerator is the number of months in the period from the first day of May (the month of Y's first taxable use after the sale) through the end of June, and Y owes a section 4481 tax of \$71.67 (2/12 of \$430) for the taxable period.

(e) Effective/applicability date. This section applies on and after July 1, 2015. For rules applicable before that date, see 26 CFR 41.4481-1 (revised as of April 1, 2014).

[T.D. 8027, 50 FR 21246, May 23, 1985, as amended by T.D. 8159, 52 FR 33584, Sept. 4, 1987; T.D. 8177, 53 FR 6626, Mar. 2, 1988; T.D. 8879, 65 FR 17153, Mar. 31, 2000; T.D. 9698, 79 FR 64314, Oct. 29, 2014]