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Funding Our Nation's Highway Programs and Leveling the Playing Field – Heavy Vehicle Use Tax –Office of Highway Policy Information (OHPI)

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

Funding Our Nation's Highway Programs and Leveling the Playing Field

Collage: Court Room, Currency and Log Truck

Evasion Methods and
  Detection (Part I)


In spite of the best efforts of federal and state compliance officers, there are ongoing investigations that suggest HVUT evasion is a problem. There are a number of HVUT evasion methods that have been detected in IRS audits and FHWA compliance reviews. Knowledge of these methods can provide opportunities during the HVUT compliance review to detect evasion. The vigilant reviewer may detect methods of evasion not covered in this training course. New methods should be documented for inclusion in future revisions of the compliance review protocol and training course. This page presents an overview of two HVUT evasion methods and detection techniques.

Evasion Method 1 – Registering a vehicle at a weight lower than its actual operating weight. Registering a vehicle at a weight lower than its actual gross weight could easily be detected at weigh stations because the gross vehicle weight must be stated when registering a vehicle. Thus, cross-checks of vehicle weights against registration data and Form 2290 Schedule 1 information should identify potential evasion.

Evasion Method 2 – Registering as an exempt vehicle and using the vehicle for private or commercial purposes. Larger-than-expected numbers of exempt vehicles in a specific state or tag agency may indicate a need for further analysis. Verification of the exemption for VINs included in the sample drawn for the compliance review would be a first step in determining whether a state is meeting its HVUT requirements. Follow-up may be required if no reasons can be found for the higher exemption rates at a certain tag agency.

More evasion methods are explored on the next page.

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Page last modified on November 7, 2014.
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