IRS News Release  
July 28, 2004

IRS Issues Guidance on Truck and Tractor Excise Tax

WASHINGTON - Today the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Rev. Rul. 2004-80. This revenue ruling applies the primarily designed test in section 145.4051-1(e)(1) and (2) of the Temporary Excise Tax Regulations Under the Highway Revenue Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-424) for purposes of determining whether a vehicle is a truck or a highway tractor.

The characterization of a vehicle as a truck or as a tractor is significant because the first retail sale of all highway tractors, regardless of size or use, is subject to the retail excise tax imposed by section 4051. Trucks under a certain weight, however, are not subject to this tax.

This guidance results from the Industry Issues Resolution (IIR) Program. Under IIR, taxpayers, associations and other groups representing businesses submit frequently disputed or burdensome tax issues for review. The goal, where possible, is to resolve these differences by providing more effective guidance.

“Our IIR teams take a detailed look at contentious tax issues facing industry,” said Director, Pre-filing and Technical Guidance, Kathy Petronchak. “We want to encourage other business representatives to submit issues for the program.”

Revenue Ruling 2004-80 will be in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2004-32, dated August 9, 2004, and will be posted on the IRS Web site, Information on the IIR Program and how to submit business tax issues for the program can be found in Rev. Proc. 2003-36, 2003-18 I.R.B. 859 (also available at the IRS Web site).

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