Excise Taxes and Excise Duties


There are two types of federal levies on products manufactured or produced in Canada: (1) excise taxes and (2) excise duties.

An excise tax is an inland tax in the territory (as opposed to a customs or border duty) imposed in connection with the sale or production for sale of specific goods  or a tax on a good produced for sale or sold within a country or in connection with the issuance of licenses for specific activities.  Excise taxes are distinguished from customs duties, which are imposts paid at the border upon importation of a good.
The Government of Canada also imposes excise tax on petroleum/fuel products, cigarettes, cigars and tobacco products, watches, air conditioners in cars, insurance premiums, and a number of other items. Most of these items are subject to excise tax pursuant to the Excise Tax Act.
An excise duty is also an inland tax in the territory. Excise duties are imposed in Canada on spirits, wine, beer, and tobacco products.  The Government Canada imposes excise duty on alcohol and spirits (including wine and beer) under the Excise Act and the Excise Act 2001. 

The producer or manufacturer is required to pay the excise tax and excise duty and, therefore, excise tax and excise duty are indirect taxes.


How can we help you?

  •  Do you need a ruling in order to comply with the law?
  •  Are you looking for opportunities to save non-recoverable tax?
  •  Are you involved in a related party reorganization?
  •  Are you being audited and need assistance organizing records for the audit?
  •  Has an auditor raised a compliance or remittance issue?
  •  Has the auditor asked you to sign a waiver?
  •  Are you near a limitation period?
  •  Has the CRA issued an assessment?
  •  Would you like to file a Notice of Objection and need assistance framing the arguments?
  •  Would you like to file an appeal with the tax Court of Canada?
  •  Is the CRA taking enforcement action (e.g. registered a lien against the property)?
  •  Has the CRA charged the corporation (or officers, directors or agents) with an offence?
  •  Do you require assistance to obtain a license?
  •  Are you involved in a transaction involving the purchase or sale of a business that manufacturers, buys, imports, sells or packages a excisable good?
  •  Do you need assistance in registering your business?
  •  Do you have a disagreement over the amount of security that must be deposited?


Additional Information about LexSage

LexSage has extensive experience in providing sage and proactive excise tax advice and reactive assistance in responding to claims by the Canada Revenue Agency (and its predecessors).  Based on almost 20 years of experience at Canada’s top law firms, Cyndee Todgham Cherniak has helped numerous clients obtain rulings from the Canada Revenue Agency, survive an excise tax audit and file notices of objection where a disagreement has arisen.

LexSage has experience dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency in the course of transactions involving businesses engaged in the importation and/or sale of wine, beer and/or spirits.  If you need someone in your corner, we would be pleased to help.
Cyndee is the Chair of the Canadian Bar Association, National Sales Tax, Customs and Trade Section.  She has been recognized as an up and coming commodity tax lawyer in Canada’s L’Expert directory. 

See Articles and Papers and Speaking Engagements for more information.

*LexSage Professional Corporation is approved by the Law Society of Upper Canada