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Colorado State Excise Taxes 2016 - Fuel, Cigarette, and Alcohol Taxes

Gasoline:
22.00¢ per gallon
Cigarettes:
84¢ per pack
Liquor:
$2.28 per gal
Wine:
32¢ per gal
Beer:
8¢ per gal

What is an Excise Tax?

An excise tax is a tax directly levied on certain goods by a state or federal government. The most prominent excise taxes collected by the Colorado state government are the fuel tax on gasoline and the so-called "sin tax" collected on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.


An excise tax is not the same thing as the Colorado Sales Tax.

The Colorado Sales Tax is collected as a percentage of the final purchase price of all qualifying sales, and is collected directly from the end consumer of the product.

Colorado's excise taxes, on the other hand, are flat per-unit taxes that must be paid directly to the Colorado government by the merchant before the goods can be sold. Merchants may be required to attach tax stamps to taxable merchandise to show that the excise tax was paid.

Even though excise taxes are collected from businesses, virtually all Colorado merchants pass on the excise tax to the customer through higher prices for the taxed goods.


Colorado per capita excise tax

Colorado collects an average of $300 in yearly excise taxes per capita, one of the lowest average per capita excise taxes in the country.

Colorado General Excise Taxes - Gasoline, Cigarettes, and More

Colorado collects general excise taxes on the sale of motor fuel (gasoline and diesel), cigarettes (per pack), and cell phone service plans. Other general taxes, similar to excise taxes, may be collected on other items including transportation tickets, firearms, gas guzzlers, vehicle sales, tanning salons, and more.

Gas sales tax in Colorado - Colorado oil and gasoline excise taxes

Colorado Gas Tax

35th highest gas tax

The Colorado excise tax on gasoline is 22.00¢ per gallon, lower then 70% of the other 50 states. Colorado's excise tax on gasoline is ranked #35 out of the 50 states. The Colorado gas tax is included in the pump price at all gas stations in Colorado.

Tax on buying cigarettes in Colorado - Colorado cigarette excise taxes

Colorado Cigarette Tax

33rd highest cigarette tax

The Colorado excise tax on cigarettes is $0.84 per 20 cigarettes, lower then 66% of the other 50 states. Colorado's excise tax on cigarettes is ranked #33 out of the 50 states. The Colorado cigarette tax of $0.84 is applied to every 20 cigarettes sold (the size of an average pack of cigarettes). If a pack contains more then 20 cigarettes, a higher excise tax will be collected.

Tax on phone service in Colorado - Colorado phone taxes

Colorado Cellphone Tax

22nd highest cellphone tax

The average tax collected on cell phone plans in Colorado is $10.40 per phone service plan, higher then 56% of the other 50 states. Colorado's average cellphone tax is ranked #22 out of the 50 states. The Colorado cellphone tax is already included in the service plan price you pay to your service provider, and may be listed as "Misc. taxes and Fees" or "Other" on your monthly bill.

Automobile / Vehicle Tax In Colorado - Colorado car road tax

Colorado Car Tax

Colorado collects a registration fee and a title fee on the sale or transfer of cars and motorcycles, which are essentially renamed excise taxes. Unlike standard excise taxes, however, the end consumer must pay the tax directly to the Colorado Department of Transportation and receive documentation (registration and title papers) proving the fees were paid.

Colorado Alcohol Excise Taxes - Liquor, Wine, and Beer

Colorado collects special excise taxes on the sale of all types of alcohol, subdivided into specific taxes on wine, beer, and liquor (hard alcohol other then wine and beer). Alcohol taxes are sometimes collectively referred to as "sin taxes", which also include excise taxes on cigarettes, gambling, drugs, and certain other items.

Please note that the IRS also collects a federal excise taxes on alcoholic beverages, which are included separately from Colorado's alcohol taxes in the final purchase price.

Tax on beer in Colorado - Colorado beer excise taxes

Colorado Beer Tax

45th highest beer tax

The Colorado excise tax on beer is $0.08 per gallon, one of the lowest beer taxes in the country. Colorado's beer excise tax is ranked #45 out of the 50 states. The Colorado beer tax is already added to the purchase price of all beer bought in Colorado, whether in kegs, bottles, or cans.

Tax on buying wine in Colorado - Colorado wine excise taxes

Colorado Wine Tax

39th highest wine tax

The Colorado excise tax on Wine is $0.32 per gallon, lower then 78% of the other 50 states. Colorado's excise tax on wine is ranked #39 out of the 50 states. The Colorado wine tax is already added to the purchase price of all wine bought in Colorado.

Tax on buying liquor in Colorado - Colorado Liquor & Spirits excise taxes

Colorado Liquor Tax

46th highest liquor tax

The Colorado excise tax on liquor is $2.28 per gallon, one of the lowest liquor taxes in the country. Colorado's excise tax on Spirits is ranked #46 out of the 50 states. The Colorado liquor tax applies to all hard alcohol (alchoholic beverages other then beer and wine), and is already included in the purchase price by the retailer.

Colorado Excise Tax Deductions & Refunds

Can I deduct my Colorado Excise taxes?

Unlike the Colorado Sales Tax, excise taxes are not generally deductible on Colorado income tax returns or on your federal tax return. However, the IRS occasionally allows certain excise taxes to be deducted for certain tax years.

Vehicle Tax Deduction
Colorado sales and excise taxes on cars or vehicles bought during 2009 may be deducted once from your federal tax return. You cannot deduct excise taxes for vehicles bought during other years.
Phone Tax Deduction
You may deduct excise taxes paid on long-distance phone calls between the years of 2003 and 2006 from your federal tax return.


Can I get a Colorado Excise Tax Refund?

While sales tax refunds are available for goods that are purchased in Colorado and exported, Colorado excise taxes paid on goods are generally non-refundable. Incentives may exist allowing certain state of federal excise taxes to be refunded on goods bought for specific uses, but such incentives change frequently.

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Colorado Excise Tax - References