An excise tax is an indirect tax charged on the sale of a particular good. Indirect means the tax is not directly paid by an individual consumer; instead, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) levies the tax on the producer or merchant, who passes the tax onto the consumer by including it in the product’s price. It also refers to penalty taxation for ineligible transactions in retirement accounts.
It is an inland tax on the sale, or production for sale of particular goods or a tax on a good produced for sale, or sold, within a country or licenses for specific activities. Excises are different from customs duties, which are taxes on importation. Excises are commonly imposed in addition to another indirect tax such as sales tax or value added tax (VAT).