Indirect Tax

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DEFINITION of 'Indirect Tax'

A tax that increases the price of a good so that consumers are actually paying the tax by paying more for the products. An indirect tax is most often thought of as a tax that is shifted from one taxpayer to another, by way of an increase in the price of the good. Fuel, liquor and cigarette taxes are all considered examples of indirect taxes, as many argue that the tax is actually paid by the end consumer, by way of a higher retail price.

BREAKING DOWN 'Indirect Tax'

Indirect taxes can also be defined as fees that are levied equally upon taxpayers, no matter their income. This is a primary reason why they are thought of as taxes that are passed on, as the price of the tax is compensated for by simply increasing the overall price of the good or service. Some economists argue that indirect taxes lead to an inefficient marketplace and alter market prices that don't match their equilibrium price.

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