Surcharge

DEFINITION of 'Surcharge'

A fee or other charge that is added to the cost of a good or service. A surcharge is typically added to an existing tax, and may not be included in the stated price of a good or service. It may be a temporary measure to defray the cost of increased commodity pricing, such as with a fuel surcharge, or it may be permanent. A surcharge does not have to be imposed by the government.

BREAKING DOWN 'Surcharge'

Businesses use surcharges to shift additional costs to consumers. For example, when gas prices are high, taxi companies may add a fuel surcharge of $1 to cover the increased fuel cost. Some surcharges are not included in the listed price of a good or service, requiring consumers to pay attention to the final bill or risk paying more than they bargained for.

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