The Internal Revenue Service on April 4, 2005, published guidance excluding four truck body types from federal excise tax. Revenue Procedure 2005-19 states that the 12% excise tax on new vehicles does not apply to platform bodies 21 feet or less in length, dry freight and refrigerated truck van bodies 24 feet or less in length, dump truck bodies with load capacities of eight cubic yards or less, or refuse packer truck bodies with load capacities of 20 cubic yards or less.
Generally, the tax applies to straight trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 33,000 pounds and to trailers with a rating of more than 26,000 pounds. But sellers of truck bodies do not always know the rating of the chassis on which the bodies are placed. The revenue procedure is intended to clarify that these body types are not taxable. Other body types may also be nontaxable, if the seller can establish that the body has “practical and commercial fitness for use” with a lighter-rated vehicle.