Excise Tax

Excise taxes have been imposed on U.S. taxpayers since the inception of the country. Existing excise taxes on articles such as fuel, alcohol, tobacco, and heavy vehicles were enacted in the early to mid-1900s. Today there are over 30 federal excise taxes administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Each tax has its own rules, complex regulations and procedures. States and local governments also impose excise tax on a wide range of articles and services.

The Far Reach of Excise Tax

Excise taxes affect many middle market companies in a wide range of industries including:

  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • Energy and environmental
  • Food and beverage
  • Healthcare and life sciences
  • Retail dealers and sellers
  • Importers
  • Building and construction
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Banking, insurance, and financial products
  • Gaming

RSM’s full service excise tax practice covers a complete range of excise taxes and credits, including:

  • Manufacturers taxes (e.g., petroleum products and motor fuel; tires; sporting goods; firearms)
  • Retail taxes (e.g., alternative fuels; ethanol; biodiesel; heavy trucks and trailers)
  • Air transportation taxes for passengers and property
  • Environmental taxes (e.g., ozone-depleting chemicals; oil spill; superfund)
  • Heavy vehicle highway use tax
  • Foreign insurance excise tax
  • Wagering excise tax
  • Affordable Care Act provisions (e.g., branded prescription drug fee; tanning excise tax; PCORI fee)
  • Communications excise taxes
  • Fuel credits (e.g., taxable fuel; alcohol; biodiesel; alternative fuel)
  • Excise taxes administered by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (e.g., spirits; wine; beer; tobacco; firearms; ammunition)

Our Services

RSM’s excise tax practice advises clients on the complexities of excise taxes administered by the IRS, TTB and state and local governments.  Our services include:

  • Controversy disputes and representation
  • Planning and refund opportunities
  • Consulting
  • Due diligence
  • Compliance and registrations
  • CPE trainings
  • Tax system implementations

Our Professionals

RSM’s excise tax practice is led by Washington National Tax professionals with more than 20 years of government and private sector experience.  Our goal is to be your first choice advisor by bringing our experts to team with you to provide a comprehensive and holistic approach to your tax matters.  We will evaluate opportunities and areas of risk to provide you with a clear assessment based on your particular situation.



First quarter sporting goods excise tax filing deadline postponed

The IRS postponed the first quarter filing and payment deadline for federal sporting goods excise taxes until Oct. 31, 2020.

  • August 10, 2020


Treasury issues proposed air transportation excise tax regulations

Treasury proposes clean up to air trans excise tax regulations and rules to exempt payments by aircraft owners to management companies.

  • July 30, 2020


TTB extends dates on destruction of beer FAQs due to COVID-19

TTB FAQs allowing for the destruction of beer off brewery premises and waiver of notice of intent to destroy were extended through Sept. 1.

  • June 25, 2020


TTB authorized use of online filing system for tobacco SOT

The TTB now allows tobacco proprietors to file their special occupation tax online via the agency’s Permit Online program.

  • June 23, 2020


Second quarter sporting goods excise tax filing deadline extended

The IRS extended the second quarter filing and payment deadline for federal sporting goods excise taxes until Oct. 31, 2020.

  • June 23, 2020


TTB finalizes regulations on certain alcohol tax return filing periods

TTB adopted, with minor changes, temporary regulations on alcohol tax filing dates implementing 2015 PATH Act for eligible excise taxpayers.

  • June 02, 2020


New TTB guidance for facilities producing alcohol for hand sanitizer

TTB issues new guidance in Q&A format about tax-free withdrawals of distilled spirits and hand sanitizer under the CARES Act.

  • May 19, 2020


New TTB FAQ on wine virtual tasting rooms

New TTB FAQ addresses requirements for a winery holding remote wine tastings with customers, including tax, labeling, and container sizes.

  • May 15, 2020


IRS issues aviation excise tax holiday FAQs

IRS released CARES Act FAQs on aviation excise tax holiday. FAQs provide clarification on issues related to jet fuel and ticket tax.

  • May 13, 2020


TTB issues excise tax FAQs on destruction of beer due to COVID-19

TTB issued FAQs providing guidance for refund claims on taxpaid beer for brewers when unmerchantable beer is destroyed during COVID-19.

  • May 04, 2020

Excise Tax Consulting

Debbie Gordon
Washington National Tax
Area of Focus: Excise Tax Consulting

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