Iowa State Excise Taxes 2016 - Fuel, Cigarette, and Alcohol Taxes
21.00¢ per gallon
$1.36 per pack
$12.49 per gal
$1.75 per gal
19¢ 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 Iowa 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 Iowa Sales Tax.The Iowa 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.
Iowa's excise taxes, on the other hand, are flat per-unit taxes that must be paid directly to the Iowa 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 Iowa merchants pass on the excise tax to the customer through higher prices for the taxed goods.
Iowa per capita excise tax
Iowa collects an average of $416 in yearly excise taxes per capita, lower then 60% of the other 50 states.
Iowa General Excise Taxes - Gasoline, Cigarettes, and More
Iowa 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, firearms, tanning salons, gas guzzlers, and more.
Iowa Gas Tax35th highest gas tax
The Iowa excise tax on gasoline is 21.00¢ per gallon, lower then 70% of the other 50 states. Iowa's excise tax on gasoline is ranked #35 out of the 50 states. The Iowa gas tax is included in the pump price at all gas stations in Iowa.
Iowa Cigarette Tax25th highest cigarette tax
The Iowa excise tax on cigarettes is $1.36 per 20 cigarettes, higher then 50% of the other 50 states. Iowa's excise tax on cigarettes is ranked #25 out of the 50 states. The Iowa cigarette tax of $1.36 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.
Iowa Cellphone Tax35th highest cellphone tax
The average tax collected on cell phone plans in Iowa is $7.91 per phone service plan, lower then 70% of the other 50 states. Iowa's average cellphone tax is ranked #35 out of the 50 states. The Iowa 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.
Iowa Car Tax
Iowa 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 Iowa Department of Transportation and receive documentation (registration and title papers) proving the fees were paid.
Iowa Alcohol Excise Taxes - Liquor, Wine, and Beer
Iowa 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 Iowa's alcohol taxes in the final purchase price.
Iowa Beer Tax31st highest beer tax
The Iowa excise tax on beer is $0.19 per gallon, lower then 62% of the other 50 states. Iowa's beer excise tax is ranked #31 out of the 50 states. The Iowa beer tax is already added to the purchase price of all beer bought in Iowa, whether in kegs, bottles, or cans.
Iowa Wine Tax4th highest wine tax
The Iowa excise tax on Wine is $1.75 per gallon, one of the highest wine taxes in the country. Iowa's excise tax on wine is ranked #4 out of the 50 states. The Iowa wine tax is already added to the purchase price of all wine bought in Iowa.
Iowa Liquor Tax6th highest liquor tax
The Iowa excise tax on liquor is $12.49 per gallon, one of the highest liquor taxes in the country. Iowa's excise tax on Spirits is ranked #6 out of the 50 states. The Iowa state government owns all distilled liquor and spirits distributors in the state. Because all liquor stores are state-owned, the excise tax is determined by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). The Iowa 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.
Iowa Excise Tax Deductions & Refunds
Can I deduct my Iowa Excise taxes?
Unlike the Iowa Sales Tax, excise taxes are not generally deductible on Iowa 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
- Iowa 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 Iowa Excise Tax Refund?
While sales tax refunds are available for goods that are purchased in Iowa and exported, Iowa 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.
Iowa Excise Tax - References
- Tax Foundation, State Excise Tax Collections Per Capita, Updated 2009
- Tax Foundation, Gasoline Excise Taxes, Updated 2012
- Tax Foundation, Cigarette Excise Taxes, Updated 2012
- Tax Foundation, Liquor Excise Taxes, Updated 2011
- Tax Foundation, Beer Excise Tax Rates, Updated 2012
- Tax Foundation, Average Wine Taxes, Updated 2011
- Tax Foundation, Average Cell Phone Taxes, Updated 2010