Excise tax

Navigating the complex terrain of excise taxation and uncovering opportunities

Taylor Cortright

Taylor Cortright

Managing Director, Excise Tax Practice, KPMG US

+1 202-533-6188

Who we are and how we can help

Led by former IRS senior excise tax counsel, KPMG’s Excise Tax practice in Washington National Tax guides clients across all affected industries through a wide range of complex excise tax issues.

In an area that possesses a myriad of specialized rules, our practice helps clients understand their excise tax positions while helping them manage risks and identify potential opportunities for available tax refunds and credits related to excise taxation.

We can help with:

  • Evaluating a company's excise tax positions
  • Advising on the reduction of future excise tax exposure
  • Managing risks related to excise taxation
  • Identifying refund and credit opportunities pertaining to excise taxation
  • Streamlining excise tax-related administrative processes
  • Assisting with excise tax planning, including preparation and review of requests for letter rulings and IRS pre-filing agreements
  • Providing compliance services related to excise tax rules and regulations, including excise tax return and claim filings
  • Considering penalty standards and pursuing opportunities for relief, including penalties for the late filing of excise tax returns, late payments, and late or missing excise tax deposits
  • Supporting clients in complex IRS examinations or at the IRS appeal level, including anticipating, managing, and responding to excise tax issues raised by the IRS and assisting in the drafting of requests for technical advice
  • Working with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in relation to client examinations and ruling requests.

About our Excise Tax practice

Our Excise Tax practice is led by Taylor Cortright, a former IRS Office of Chief Counsel excise tax attorney responsible for published guidance on excise taxes, technical advice to IRS excise tax agents, and letter rulings to taxpayers.

Our Excise Tax practice is part of KPMG’s Washington National Tax practice and works with professionals throughout KPMG's Tax, Audit, and Advisory divisions to provide federal excise tax compliance, consulting, and controversy services to clients across various industry sectors..

Our excise tax experience includes:

  • Energy and environmental taxes and incentives
    • Conventional motor fuel
    • Renewable and alternative fuel
    • Coal
  • Healthcare related taxes
    • Branded prescription drug fee
    • Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee
    • Vaccines
  • Alcohol and tobacco taxes
  • Foreign insurance excise tax
  • Transportation taxes
    • Heavy highway vehicles
    • Taxable tires
    • Commercial and general aviation
  • Sporting goods
    • Bows, arrows and archery equipment
    • Sport fishing equipment
    • Firearms and ammunition

Excise tax insights

Webcast: Reconciliation Bill Tax Provisions: Implications for Energy & Chemicals Industry

On September 15th, the House Ways & Means Committee approved its portion of legislation relating to the 2022 Budget Reconciliation Bill. The Ways and Means provisions contain a number of significant tax provisions that could impact the Energy & Chemicals industry if enacted. This webcast will provide an overview of such tax provisions, the potential impact on the industry, and the prospects for ultimate enactment.

Excise tax refund for alcohol used in non-beverage manufacturing

A significant refund (“drawback”) from the federal government may be available to manufacturers that use tax-paid distilled spirits – such as ethyl alcohol – in manufacturing non-beverage products (MNBP) including medicines, medicinal preparations, food products, flavors, flavoring extracts, and perfumes.

Latest articles


Proposed Reinstatement of Superfund Taxes Would Reintroduce Three Excise Taxes to the Petroleum and Chemicals Industries at Double the Rates

October 19, 2021 - f proposals in the so-called Bipartisan Infrastructure Funding Bill (as passed the Senate) and the Build Back Better Act reconciliation bill (as approved by the House Budget Committee) are enacted in their current forms, three excise taxes will be reinstated next year, more than 25 years after the taxes expired. These proposals would reintroduce excise taxes that fund the Hazardous Substance Superfund (“Superfund”), which funds the cleanup of hazardous waste sites.

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Notice 2020-55: Postponed deadline, federal excise tax for sports fishing, archery equipment (COVID-19)

August 7, 2020 - The IRS today released an advance version of Notice 2020-55 that provides until October 31, 2020, for filing a Form 720 and paying the related federal excise tax under section 4161(a) on sales of sport fishing equipment and under section 4161(b) on sales of archery equipment (bows and arrows) for the first calendar quarter (January, February, and March) of 2020. This relief is provided in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Excise taxes on air transport of persons or property; aircraft management services exemption

July 29, 2020 - The U.S. Treasury Department and IRS today released for publication in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-112042-19) relating to the excise taxes imposed on certain amounts paid for transportation of persons and property by air.

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IRS provides FAQs on aviation excise tax holiday under CARES Act (COVID-19)

May 15, 2020 - The IRS has provided a set of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) that address issues related to the aviation excise tax holiday pursuant to relief provided by the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act) (Pub. L. No. 1161-136).

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Claiming Retroactively Reinstated Renewable Fuel Incentives

February 24, 2020 - Renewable fuel incentives have been retroactively reinstated and taxpayers may make a one-time claim related to biodiesel mixtures and alternative fuels sold for use or used during calendar years 2018 and 2019. Current claims for qualifying fuel may be made as often as weekly during 2020. This article discusses the one-time claim rules and other renewable fuel incentives available to taxpayers.

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State Opioid Taxes

September 16, 2019 - Misuse and abuse of both prescription and illicit opioids have led to a national epidemic. Perhaps inspired by the trend to tax tobacco, alcohol, and even soda, some policymakers have been drawn to the idea of taxing prescription opioids. To deter opioid use and defray some of the costs resulting from the abuse of both prescription and illicit opioids, state legislatures are considering new laws that impose a tax or distributors.

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