Excise taxes, also known as excise duties, excise taxes or excise duties in the European Union denomination, are a set of indirect taxes, which are levied selectively on the consumption of certain goods.

The concept of Excise Duties is not new and has been applied for a long time. What has changed over time are the products it affects, which are usually determined by the scarcity or abundance of the good or by the interests in moderating its consumption.

In this sense, excise taxes are indirect taxes, since they are applied on the manifestation of wealth when consuming, as VAT does. They are also linear to the amount consumed, so the more you consume, the more you pay.

From a practical point of view, they serve firstly to increase revenue for the State’s coffers and secondly, they regulate the consumption of certain goods through taxation. To make it easier for you to understand, if the government wants to discourage the smoking, it can ban it or, failing that, make it more expensive via taxes to discourage smoking.

Excise taxes in Spain can be divided into those that refer to manufacturing excise taxes and those that do not, which would be the excise taxes on production and service. The former would include the following:

  • Beer tax.

  • Tax on wine and fermented beverages.

  • Tax on intermediate products.

  • Tax on alcohol and alcoholic beverages.

  • Tax on tobacco products

  • Tax on Hydrocarbons: Each fuel has a different tax rate, that is to say, you do not pay the same for 95 petrol as for diesel.

  • Special Tax on Certain Means of Transport, better known as registration tax.

  • Carbon tax

  • Electricity tax

In most cases the tax is applied directly without the consumer being aware of it.