How to Claim a Tax Refund for Stolen or Destroyed Vehicles with Form 8849

Form 2290 that pertains to the heavy vehicle use tax, allows the vehicle owners to pay for the taxes of the vehicles. If the vehicle is stolen, sold, or destroyed during the tax year, then it is possible to claim credits on the tax paid on the vehicle with the help of Form 8849. The amount that will be repaid will depend on the incidence, whether the vehicle was destroyed, sold, or stolen. But the claim made for the tax refund will not be payable until the next tax year. Tax exemption or refund however is not possible for short-term damages or changed use of the vehicle.

What is Form 8849 and how to fill the Form

Form 8849 by the IRS is used to claim a refund for the excise taxes and can be used under two circumstances. If the taxpayer has paid the complete HVUT amount in Form 2290 and has driven less than 5000 miles and if the vehicle has been destroyed or stolen. This mileage limit is extended to 7500 miles for agricultural vehicles. In both these scenarios, the vehicle owners should file Form 8849 to get a refund on Form 2290. 

The following are the steps to be followed to file Form 8849

      • Before filing the form, make sure that there is enough proof to substantiate that the vehicle is destroyed or is stolen. This proof can be a police report, a claim form submitted with the insurance company, and even pictures that prove the damage.
      • Along with the proof, the vehicle identification number and the date of the accident, sale, or theft should be submitted.
      • Form 8849 can be downloaded online which will also have details on filling the form appropriately.
      • After the form is submitted, the IRS will notify if the refund for Form 2290 was approved or not.
      • This process will take about four to twelve weeks.

Limitations on the claims of Form 8849

The vehicle owner is allowed to claim the credit on the tax paid on a vehicle that has been used for 5000 miles or less and the vehicles that have been stolen or damaged. But there is a limit on the time when the person can claim a refund for overpaying the tax. This claim has to be filed within three years, from the time he has filed the original tax return. If this period is exceeded, then he might attract a penalty. Schedule 6 of Form 8849 pertains to the refund that the person can apply for overpaying the tax. 

Form 8849 should not be used to adjust with the liability that has been reported on Form 720. Also, this form should not be used to claim credits on Schedule C of Form 720, Form 2290, or Form 4136.

Thus Form 8849 is used to apply for tax refunds on vehicles and this form can be completed within five minutes with It offers e-filing services for Form 8849 Schedule 6 and also for Form 2290. After filing them with the IRS, it will also send proof of registration and payment.