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Table 1-Schedule of Return Requirements and Payment Periods For Selected Federal Excise Taxes
Quarterly (last day of monthly after end of quarter).
Monthly (15 days after end of
At least $100 of total excise
More than $2,000 of total excise
At time of removal unless have
Semimonthly (30 days after end At time of removal unless have
Semimonthly (15 days (or 3 At time of removal unless have days) after end of period).
Facilities and services taxes Telephone, airlines.
Quarterly (last day of 2nd month following quarter).
At least $100 of total excise
More than $2,000 of total excise
1 Float time is the delay permitted between the end of a tax payment period and the date the tax must be paid. 2 Certain gasoline manufacturers are permitted 14 days if payment is made by wire transfer.
Taxes on motorboat fuels
Taxes at a rate of 9 cents per gallon are imposed on gasoline and special motor fuels used in motorboats. For fiscal years 1983-1988, up to $45 million per year of the revenues from these taxes are transferred from the Highway Trust Fund into the National Recreational Boating Safety and Facilities Improvement Fund (the "Boating Safety Fund"), with the balance, if any, going to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Tariffs on imported fishing tackle and yachts and pleasure craft
Duties at varying rates are imposed on the importation of specified articles of fishing tackle (19 U.S.C. 1202). Duties are also imposed on the importation of certain yachts and pleasure craft (19 U.S.C. 1202). Revenues from these import duties are deposited in the general fund of the Treasury.
The revenue provisions of the bill raise several issues, including the following:
First, should the list of articles of fishing equipment subject to Federal excise tax be expanded?
Second, should the rate of tax for some articles be lower than the rate applicable to sport fishing equipment generally?
Third, should the time for payment of the excise tax on sport fishing equipment be extended, and if so, should the time permitted be greater than that allowed manufacturers of other articles subject to Federal excise taxes?
Fourth, should additional Federal taxes be imposed to fund State, as contrasted to Federal, programs?
Fifth, should revenues from duties on imported yachts and pleasure craft be used to support the Sport Fish Restoration Program when similar domestically manufactured articles are not subject to a tax for support of that program?
Sixth, should revenues from the excise taxes on motorboat fuels be diverted from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and used to support other programs?
Explanation of Revenue Provisions Excise taxes on sport fishing equipment
The bill would expand the articles subject to the 10-percent manufacturers excise tax on sport fishing equipment to include articles not presently subject to tax. The additional articles of sport fishing equipment that would be subject to the 10-percent excise tax would include, for example, fishing rods and poles (and component parts of such rods and poles) fishing lines; underwater spear guns and fishing spears; bags and baskets designed to hold fish; portable bait containers; landing nets; gaff hooks; rodholders; and other items designed for use in recreational fishing.1 In addition, the bill would
1 A more detailed description of the specific items subject to the expanded tax on sport fishing equipment is contained in the report of the House Committee on Ways and Means on H.R. 2163 (H. Rep. No. 98-133, Part 2, July 1, 1983).
impose the tax at a special 3-percent rate on the sale of electric outboard boat motors.
Time for payment of excise tax on fishing equipment 2
The bill would extend the time for paying the excise tax on sport fishing equipment. Under the bill, payment of the excise tax would be required on a quarterly basis as follows:
a. March 31, in the case of articles sold during the quarter ending the previous December 31;
b. June 30, in the case of articles sold during the quarter ending the previous March 31;
c. September 24, in the case of articles sold during the quarter ending the previous June 30; and
d. On a date prescribed in Treasury regulations in the case of articles sold during the quarter ending September 30. The bill would not amend the time prescribed under present law for filing returns of manufacturers excise taxes or the time for payment of such taxes on articles other than fishing equipment.
Reallocation of motorboat fuels tax receipts
Revenues other than $1 million from the excise taxes on gasoline and special motor fuels used in motorboats would be reallocated between the Sport Fish Restoration Program and the Boating Safety Program. This reallocation is explained more fully in the description of the bill's fund expenditure provisions, following.
Transfer of tariff revenues on fishing tackle and yachts and pleasure craft
Under the bill, revenues from the import duties on fishing tackle and on yachts and pleasure craft would be dedicated to the Sport Fish Restoration Program, rather than being deposited in the general fund of the Treasury.
The amendments expanding the articles subject to the excise tax on sport fishing equipment would be effective with respect to sales after December 31, 1983. The other revenue provisions would be effective on October 1, 1983.
It is estimated that the expansion of the excise tax on sport fishing equipment would increase gross tax receipts (available for the Sport Fish Restoration Program) by $8 million in fiscal year 1984, $12 million in fiscal years 1985 and 1986, and $13 million in fiscal years 1987 and 1988. Net fiscal year budget receipts (after income tax offsets) are estimated to be $6 million in 1984, $9 million in 1985 and 1986, and $10 million in 1987 and 1988. (See, Table 4, following, for budget effects of other revenue transfer provisions.)
2 S. 927, described in Part III, contains a provision identical to that of H.R. 2163 regarding the time of payment of the excise tax on fishing equipment.
2. Fund Expenditure Provisions
Present Law and Background
Sport Fish Restoration Program
The Act of August 9, 1950 (commonly referred to as the DingellJohnson Act) provided for cooperation between the Federal Government and State fish and game departments. Although the Act did not establish a true trust fund, appropriations are linked to specific tax revenues. Limits are placed on State expenditures of Federally appropriated funds until the State has passed laws governing the conservation of fish and the State meets other requirements.
Financing source and expenditure purposes
To carry out fish restoration and management projects, there is authorized to be appropriated (under 16 U.S.C. sec. 777b) an amount equal to the revenue accruing from the 10-percent excise tax on certain fishing equipment (described above in Part II.A.1). The appropriation for any fiscal year continues to be available for the succeeding fiscal year. If the amount apportioned to any State is unexpended or unobligated at the end of the period for which it is available, this amount is then authorized to be made available for expenditure by the Secretary of the Interior on the research program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.3
Any State that wishes to receive any of these appropriations must submit to the Secretary of the Interior a program or project for fish restoration. Amounts are appropriated to reimburse States for up to 75 percent of the cost of approved projects. Approved projects include research into problems of fish management and culture, surveys and inventories of fish populations, restocking waters with food and game fishes according to natural areas, and acquisition and improvement of fish habitat that provide access for public use. The amount of assistance for these programs is determined by statutory formula.
The State allocations are apportioned as follows:
a. 40 percent in the ratio which the area of each State, including coastal and Great Lakes waters, bears to the total area of all the States; and
b. 60 percent in the ratio which the number of persons holding licenses to fish for sport or recreation in the State in the second fiscal year preceding the fiscal year for which the ap
3 Up to eight percent of each annual appropriation is available to the Secretary of the Interior to defray expenses of administering the program and of aiding in the formulation, adoption, or administration of any compact between two or more States for the conservation and management of migratory fishes in marine or fresh waters.