What Is Excise Tax? All You Must Know for Tax Season

In distinction to gross sales tax, levied on almost every part and paid immediately by the patron, excise tax is utilized solely to sure items and is paid by the service provider. Though entrepreneurs choose to give attention to producing income, excise tax is among the many particulars enterprise house owners should perceive to run a profitable operation.

On this article, we’ll reply the query “What’s excise tax?”, present an outline of generally taxed items and their related charges, and present you find out how to file with the IRS correctly.

When the time is correct, take into account indinero’s knowledgeable enterprise tax providers. We’ll deal with accounting and bookkeeping particulars so you may give attention to what you do finest. 

Excise Definition

Excise tax is levied on sure items and commodities produced or offered inside a rustic and on licenses granted for sure actions. 

In many years previous, the tax was a big income generator for the US authorities. Nonetheless, because the legislation developed, the proportion of income collected this fashion declined. Now, it’s primarily used to discourage the consumption of sure merchandise, akin to tobacco or alcohol, and to control specific industries, akin to those who produce vital air pollution. 

Excise Tax vs Gross sales Tax

For enterprise house owners, excise and gross sales taxes could appear comparable. They’re collected on items and providers, contribute to greater costs, and are the enterprise’s duty to gather and remit to the IRS. 

Nonetheless, there are some slight variations: 

Gross sales Tax Excise Tax
Charged as a p.c Charged as a p.c or flat quantity
Blanketed throughout all items and providers Utilized solely to particular items and providers
Paid by the patron Paid by the enterprise
Utilized at level of sale Utilized to manufacturing or consumption; not essentially level of sale

State and federal governments assess many various excise taxes. Nonetheless, 5 classes are a very powerful: freeway, aviation, tobacco, alcohol, and well being. These accounted for 93% of whole excise tax receipts in 2019.

Excise Definition

Here’s a checklist of the commonest excise tax charges enterprise house owners ought to know.

Good State Tax (Varies) Federal Tax
Gasoline1 $0 – $0.51 per gallon $0.184 per gallon
Diesel2 $0- $0.57 per gallon $0.244 per gallon
Beer3 $0.06 – $1.05 per gallon $3.5 per barrel, as much as 60,000
$16 per barrel, gallon 60,001 +
Wine4 $0 – $1.7 per gallon  $1.07 – $3.15 per gallon, relying on ABV
Spirits5 $0 – $14.27 per gallon $2.7 per gallon, as much as 100,000
$13.34 per gallon, gallon100,001 + 
Cigarettes6 $0.17 – $5.35 per pack of 20 $1.01 per pack of 20
Cigars7 $0.02 through 75% of value per pack of 20 $1.01 per pack of 20
**Healthcare8 **Varies **Varies
**We’ve included this class as a result of it’s a vital proportion of excise tax income. Nonetheless, we’ve omitted particulars as a result of many classes and charges fall underneath this umbrella: prescribed drugs, medical gadgets, and numerous medical health insurance taxes written to accommodate the complexity of US healthcare.

Different Excise Taxes

Whereas the above constitutes the lion’s share of all excise taxes collected, federal and state entities cost fairly a couple of others. Relying on what you are promoting, chances are you’ll need to preserve these in thoughts as properly: 

  • Aviation gasoline
  • Weapons
  • Ammunition
  • Luxurious chars
  • Jewellery
  • Furs
  • Airline tickets
  • Environmental taxes
  • Mass communication providers
  • Playing 
  • Leisure hashish
  • Carbon emissions
  • Sugary drinks 
  • Monetary transactions

Excise Tax Deductions

Excise taxes contribute to the next price of doing enterprise. Nonetheless, so long as the tax is immediately associated to what you are promoting’s extraordinary and vital operations, you may benefit from them as deductions. 

Nonetheless, some taxes, akin to on luxurious gadgets, have completely different guidelines. It’s essential to know that excise tax on gasoline is already included in the fee; don’t double deduct once you take the mileage reimbursement for firm car prices. 

To maximise your deductions, the hot button is to have a system for monitoring enterprise bills. Fashionable software program options can hyperlink to enterprise accounts and care for this robotically. Should you’re utilizing a spreadsheet to trace funds, take into account switching to a different methodology or if what you are promoting is advanced sufficient, take into account indinero’s on-line bookkeeping providers

Learn indinero’s information to enterprise bills and tax deductions.

what is excise tax

Systematizing Excise Tax Assortment 

By implementing a system for gathering excise tax, you may protect your time as a enterprise proprietor whereas remaining compliant with the legislation. 

Decide Relevant Items and Companies

Step one is to determine what your obligations are. This consists of an outline of native, state, and federal laws and industry-specific tips. 

Educate Your Crew

Enterprise development depends on efficient delegation. Educating your crew, particularly these in gross sales, finance, and compliance, ensures the accountable events know these guidelines.

Think about designating a single individual to carry duty for excise tax. When a couple of particular person is answerable for a job, nobody takes full duty, and the job will not be accomplished. 

Combine Assortment Into Level-of-Sale Programs

If relevant, integrating tax assortment into an automatic system can guarantee the right amount of tax is collected whereas avoiding human error. 

Implement Document-Holding Procedures

Sustaining information of gross sales, manufacturing volumes, and different related knowledge is essential for precisely submitting your taxes. With out this data, the IRS can’t confirm the accuracy of your reviews, and also you run the danger of an uncomfortable audit. (Right here’s what to do for those who do get audited.)

Submitting Excise Tax

Excise tax will not be reported on different typical enterprise tax types. Each enterprise should file a quarterly or annual type 720 to take action. Relying on what you are promoting, you may also must file a specialised type as properly:

Learn how to Pay Excise Tax On-line

In April 2023, the IRS acquired a large appropriation from Congress and devoted these funds to modernizing its tax assortment system and rising audit help on excessive net-worth people.

As a part of that overhaul, it’s now simpler than ever to file taxes on-line.

Adjustments in Excise Tax Legislation

Excise taxes typically change barely from 12 months to 12 months. Generally, legislatures alter charges to replicate modifications in inflation; different occasions, new taxes are carried out.

Holding in contact with a tax skilled can preserve you knowledgeable of those modifications, however listed below are the modifications coming to excise tax legislation in 2024.

  • Oregon and Utah are rising excise tax utilized to motor gasoline.
  • Kentucky is instituting a brand new tax on electrical car energy.
  • Maine and Hawaii are updating their tobacco and e-cigarette excise taxes.


Many items and providers are topic to excise tax, however a very powerful by tax receipt are alcohol, tobacco, well being, gasoline, and aviation. 

As a enterprise proprietor, you’ll want to implement a system for recording, gathering, and remitting excise tax to state and federal tax businesses. Human error is the most important impediment to authorized compliance. 

Should you’d like assist with these or different accounting issues, take into account contacting indinero’s knowledgeable accounting and tax providers.

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