DEFINITION of 'Hidden Taxes'
Taxes that are indirectly assessed upon consumer goods without the consumer's knowledge. Hidden taxes are levied upon the goods at some point during the production process and therefore raise the cost of the goods sold. However, this tax is never revealed directly to the consumer, who simply pays a higher price for the good, not knowing that part of that price is due to this tax.
BREAKING DOWN 'Hidden Taxes'
Some ad valorem taxes are an example of a hidden tax, as are taxes that are imposed at the wholesale level. Most consumers are aware that there is a tax on retail goods (sales tax), but this is by no means the only tax levied on consumer goods. Hidden taxes are almost invariably passed on to the consumer.