District of Columbia: Income Tax | Sales Tax | Property Tax | Corporate Tax | District of Columbia Excise Taxes

District of Columbia State Excise Taxes 2016 - Fuel, Cigarette, and Alcohol Taxes

Gasoline:
23.50¢ per gallon
Cigarettes:
$2.50 per pack
Liquor:
$5.37 per gal
Wine:
$1.61 per gal
Beer:
58¢ 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 District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia Sales Tax.

The District of Columbia 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.

District of Columbia's excise taxes, on the other hand, are flat per-unit taxes that must be paid directly to the District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia merchants pass on the excise tax to the customer through higher prices for the taxed goods.


District of Columbia per capita excise tax

District of Columbia collects an average of $843 in yearly excise taxes per capita, one of the highest average per capita excise taxes in the country.

District of Columbia General Excise Taxes - Gasoline, Cigarettes, and More

District of Columbia 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 vehicle sales, transportation tickets, gas guzzlers, firearms, tanning salons, and more.

Gas sales tax in District of Columbia - District of Columbia oil and gasoline excise taxes

District of Columbia Gas Tax

32nd highest gas tax

The District of Columbia excise tax on gasoline is 23.50¢ per gallon, lower then 64% of the other 50 states. District of Columbia's excise tax on gasoline is ranked #32 out of the 50 states. The District of Columbia gas tax is included in the pump price at all gas stations in District of Columbia.

Tax on buying cigarettes in District of Columbia - District of Columbia cigarette excise taxes

District of Columbia Cigarette Tax

11th highest cigarette tax

The District of Columbia excise tax on cigarettes is $2.50 per 20 cigarettes, higher then 78% of the other 50 states. District of Columbia's excise tax on cigarettes is ranked #11 out of the 50 states. The District of Columbia cigarette tax of $2.50 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 District of Columbia - District of Columbia phone taxes

District of Columbia Cellphone Tax

15th highest cellphone tax

The average tax collected on cell phone plans in District of Columbia is $11.58 per phone service plan, higher then 70% of the other 50 states. District of Columbia's average cellphone tax is ranked #15 out of the 50 states. The District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia - District of Columbia car road tax

District of Columbia Car Tax

District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia Department of Transportation and receive documentation (registration and title papers) proving the fees were paid.

District of Columbia Alcohol Excise Taxes - Liquor, Wine, and Beer

District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia's alcohol taxes in the final purchase price.

Tax on beer in District of Columbia - District of Columbia beer excise taxes

District of Columbia Beer Tax

9th highest beer tax

The District of Columbia excise tax on beer is $0.58 per gallon, one of the highest beer taxes in the country. District of Columbia's beer excise tax is ranked #9 out of the 50 states. The District of Columbia beer tax is already added to the purchase price of all beer bought in District of Columbia, whether in kegs, bottles, or cans.

Tax on buying wine in District of Columbia - District of Columbia wine excise taxes

District of Columbia Wine Tax

7th highest wine tax

The District of Columbia excise tax on Wine is $1.61 per gallon, one of the highest wine taxes in the country. District of Columbia's excise tax on wine is ranked #7 out of the 50 states. The Washington DC wine excise tax rate shown here includes a special sales tax specifically for alcoholic beverages. The District of Columbia wine tax is already added to the purchase price of all wine bought in District of Columbia.

Tax on buying liquor in District of Columbia - District of Columbia Liquor & Spirits excise taxes

District of Columbia Liquor Tax

30th highest liquor tax

The District of Columbia excise tax on liquor is $5.37 per gallon, lower then 60% of the other 50 states. District of Columbia's excise tax on Spirits is ranked #30 out of the 50 states. The Washington DC hard liquor excise tax rate shown here includes a special sales tax specifically for alcoholic beverages. The District of Columbia 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.

District of Columbia Excise Tax Deductions & Refunds

Can I deduct my District of Columbia Excise taxes?

Unlike the District of Columbia Sales Tax, excise taxes are not generally deductible on District of Columbia 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
District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia Excise Tax Refund?

While sales tax refunds are available for goods that are purchased in District of Columbia and exported, District of Columbia 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.

Has this free tax information helped you? Like us on Facebook for useful tax tips!
Get Exclusive Tax Tips. Sign up for the free Tax-Rates.org Mailing List for access to important tax updates from the IRS, tips on making the most of your tax deductions, and exclusive tax assistance.

District of Columbia Excise Tax - References