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.

Related Articles

Fireworks Sales Spark an Explosion of Taxes and Fees

America’s Gas Tax Falls Further Behind OECD Peers When Controlling for Exchange Rates

How High are Other Nations’ Gas Taxes?

Reforming Rental Car Excise Taxes

How Do Transfers and Progressive Taxes Affect the Distribution of Income?

The Composition of Federal Revenue Has Changed Over Time

Permanence for Alcohol Excise Tax Reforms

New Research Provides More Reasons to Repeal the Medical Device Tax

Taxation, Representation, and the American Revolution

Another Look at Reforming the Health Insurance Exclusion

Are Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes Regressive? Evidence from Household Retail Purchases

A Small Victory on the Global Spread of Soda Taxes

Automobile Tariffs Would Offset Half the TCJA Gains for Low-income Households

Agreement to Fund Government Delays Three Health Care-Related Taxes

A Brief Review of Federal Infrastructure Trust Funds

The Health Impact of Alcohol Taxes

Congress Considers Taxing Opioids

An Inside Look at Trump’s Infrastructure Plans

Tax Freedom Day 2017 is April 23rd

Proposed GOP Healthcare Bill Would Repeal Nearly All ACA Tax Increases