Center for Federal Tax Policy

Excise Taxes

Excise taxes are special taxes on specific goods or activities—such as gasoline, tobacco or gambling—rather than general tax bases such as income or consumption. Excise taxes are often included in the final price of products and services, and are often hidden to consumers.

Overall, excise taxes account for less than 10 percent of all federal receipts. All 50 states and many local municipalities levy excise taxes of various kinds. Studies show excise taxes are disproportionately borne by low-income taxpayers, making them one of the most regressive components of the U.S. tax system.


Featured Research

Arcane Federal Tax on Sports Betting Is Too Much to Handle

April 8, 2021

Excise Tax Application and Trends

March 16, 2021

Who Will Pay for the Roads?

August 25, 2020

A Road Map to Recreational Marijuana Taxation

June 9, 2020

Taxing Nicotine Products: A Primer

January 22, 2020

Vaping Taxes Should Be Carefully Designed

September 12, 2019


Related Articles

Arcane Federal Tax on Sports Betting Is Too Much to Handle

Excise Tax Application and Trends

Tax Extenders Hitch a Ride on Omnibus and COVID-19 Relief Deal

Zoom Calls Not a Taxing Matter

Flawed Federal Taxation of Recreational Marijuana

Who Will Pay for the Roads?

A Road Map to Recreational Marijuana Taxation

A Good Excise Tax

Gas Tax Revenue to Decline as Traffic Drops 38 Percent

Federal Proposal to Levy Excise Tax on Spring Water Extraction

Banning Flavored Tobacco Could Have Unintended Consequences

Taxing Nicotine Products: A Primer

Policymakers Should Not Resuscitate the Medical Device Tax

Why the Medical Device Tax Should Be Repealed

Understanding the Price of Your Plane Ticket

Tax Nicotine Products By Quantity

Congress Considers a Tax Increase on Vapers and Smokers

Marijuana Revenues Could Take a Hit

Vaping Taxes Should Be Carefully Designed

The Proper Role of Excise Taxes