U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
This page explores three additional HVUT evasion methods:
As was the case with the previous page on HVUT evasion, detection techniques are also noted for each method.
Evasion Method 3 – Stating a use of less than 5,000 miles annually. In this approach, a truck owner certifies that he or she will travel fewer than 5,000 miles (7,500 miles for agricultural uses) per year and is, therefore, exempt from the HVUT. It could be difficult to verify this exemption for intrastate carriers. Interstate carriers, however, are subject to the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). Under IFTA, interstate carriers must keep a record of the miles traveled in each state. Cross-checking of exempt registrations with IFTA data for interstate carriers could detect abuse of this exemption. Intrastate carriers could potentially be detected through the review of motor carrier enforcement data (e.g., inspections data, weigh-in-motion data, weigh station passes, etc.).
Evasion Method 4 – Continuous re-titling of vehicles. By continually re-titling vehicles, a trucking company could avoid the legal requirement to produce proof that the HVUT has been paid before the state registration can be obtained. In this case, checking VIN numbers that maintain the same address with different owners or have repeat owners may indicate the need for an audit.
Evasion Method 5 – Bribery. If widespread, bribing or paying an agent of a local or private registration office to falsify paperwork showing taxes paid could be detected by using the random sample of proof of compliance. If the bribery is simply paying for registration, then the lack of proof of payment should be detected for a certain office while others show better proof of compliance. Bribery could take the form of tag agency clerks selling fabricated 2290 Schedule 1s to potential registrants. This evasion method would be detected through careful review of 2290s and subsequent criminal investigations.
More evasion methods are explored on the next page.
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