Understanding Excise Taxes - The 2019 ICAST Show

Understanding Excise Taxes - The 2019 ICAST Show

The 2019 ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades) Show was held in Orlando, Florida last week and for the third year in a row, the Wildlife Management Institute organized two special seminars and participated in over a 100 one-on-one discussions with manufacturers and retailers attending the show. These seminars and discussions are all focused on the 10% excise tax paid by the fishing industry that – along with fishing license revenues – represents the fishing side of the funding foundation of the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation.

ICAST 2019 Logo

The two seminars are designed to; 1) better inform manufacturers on the process of calculating and paying the excise tax; and 2) explain to manufacturers and retailers that the excise tax is going to state fishery agencies to support important fishery management and angling access projects. These seminars featured presentations from the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several state fishery agencies. Each year, the Wildlife Management Institute works with the American Sportfishing Association and the agencies to make these seminars a reality and they are always very well attended and include a lot of questions.

Following the seminars, the agency representatives (along with WMI) take the time to visit directly with all of the new exhibitors (manufacturers) at their booth on the show floor to personally talk to them about the excise tax and answer any questions they may have. The purpose of these one-on-one discussions is to ensure that new manufacturers fully understand their excise tax responsibilities. In past shows, we have had these discussions with new manufacturers and found that they are not aware of the program. If we had not been at the Show, they may have gone one or more years without making their excise tax payments. Needless to say, ignoring this 10% tax for one or more years could be financially devastating to a small business. This year, the 2019 ICAST Show had over 150 new exhibitors that we visited.

This work is supported by excise tax dollars through a Multi-State Conservation Grant. The purpose of that grant is to enhance the relationship between the industries that pay the taxes and the agencies that put the tax payments to work managing our nation’s fish and wildlife resources. Ensuring that the industry perceives this excise tax responsibility in a favorable light is a key component of this industry/agency relationship.

July 15, 2019