Excise Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Excise, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Excise?

n. a tax upon manufacture, sale or for a business license or charter, as distinguished from a tax on real property, income or estates. Sometimes it is redundantly called an excise tax.

History and Meaning of Excise

Excise is a legal term that refers to a type of tax levied on goods and services by the government. It can be levied on certain types of goods, such as tobacco or alcohol, or on certain services, such as air travel or telephone services. Excise taxes are typically levied on both manufacturers and consumers, and they are often built into the price of the goods or services themselves. The reason for this is to discourage the consumption of certain goods or services that may have negative social consequences or to generate revenue for the government.

The history of excise taxes dates back to ancient times when governments levied taxes on certain goods and services to generate revenue. In the United States, excise taxes were first introduced during the Revolutionary War to fund the war effort. Today, excise taxes are used by many governments around the world to raise revenue and regulate the consumption of certain goods and services.

Examples of Excise

  1. In the United States, a federal excise tax is levied on tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars. This tax is intended to discourage people from smoking while raising revenue for the government.

  2. In the United Kingdom, an excise tax is levied on alcoholic beverages. This tax is intended to regulate the consumption of alcohol and raise revenue for the government.

  3. In Australia, an excise tax is levied on petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel fuel. This tax is intended to raise revenue for the government and discourage the use of fossil fuels.

Legal Terms Similar to Excise

  1. Sales Tax - A tax on the sale of goods or services.

  2. Value Added Tax (VAT) - A tax on the value added to goods or services at each stage of production and distribution.

  3. Tariff - A tax on imports or exports.