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Excise Tax

Excise taxes are "internal" taxes levied against specific goods made or used within a country. Historically, liquor and tobacco have been the targets of such taxes; in modern times excise taxes have been collected on the cost of long distance telephone calls. The first use of an excise tax in the United States was in 1791 and applied to whiskey. Small excise taxes are sometimes referred to as "nuisance taxes." Tariffs are "external" taxes and apply to goods produced in a foreign country. Sales taxes apply to a broad range of items, excluding only specified items.