Fireworks Excise Tax - FAQ
What is the fireworks excise tax?
The fireworks excise tax is a 5% tax on retail sales of “consumer fireworks,” which term is defined in O.C.G.A. § 25-10-1, and on items specifically listed in O.C.G.A. § 25-10-1(b)(2).
Why does Georgia have a fireworks excise tax?
The 2015 Georgia General Assembly passed the fireworks excise tax in House Bill 110.
When did the fireworks excise tax take effect?
The tax applies to sales made on or after July 1, 2015.
To which items does the tax apply?
The tax applies to:
• consumer fireworks;
• wire or wood sparklers of 100 grams or less of mixture per item;
• other sparkling items which are nonexplosive and nonaerial and contain 75 grams or less of chemical compound per tube or a total of 500 grams or less for multiple tubes;
• snake and glow worms;
• smoke devices; and
• trick noise makers which include paper streamers, party poppers, string poppers, snappers, and drop pops each consisting of 0.25 grains or less of explosive mixture.
What are “consumer fireworks”?
“Consumer fireworks” is defined at O.C.G.A. § 25-10-1 as “any small fireworks devices containing restricted amounts of pyrotechnic composition, designed primarily to produce visible or audible effects by combustion, that comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission as provided for in Parts 1500 and 1507 of Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the United States Department of Transportation as provided for in Part 172 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and the American Pyrotechnics Association as provided for in the 2001 American Pyrotechnics Association Standard 87-1, and additionally means Roman candles.”
Is the fireworks excise tax imposed upon the retail seller or the retail purchaser?
The tax is imposed upon the seller.
Can the seller charge the fireworks excise tax to the purchaser?
Yes. If the seller charges the fireworks excise tax to the purchaser, the seller must itemize the fireworks excise tax on the purchaser’s invoice.
Is the fireworks excise tax subject to sales tax?
Yes. If the seller charges the fireworks excise tax to the purchaser, the seller must include the fireworks excise tax in the sales and use tax base pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 48-8-2(34).
How do sellers report and remit the fireworks excise tax?
Sellers must report and remit the tax electronically on the Fireworks Excise Tax Return. The tax must be reported electronically regardless of whether the seller files paper sales tax returns. Only one return and one fireworks excise tax number are required even if the seller has multiple locations.
In order to file a return, a seller must first register on the Georgia Tax Center website for a sales tax number (if it has not already done so) and a fireworks excise tax number. Please refer to Fireworks Excise Tax Account registration instructions for guidance.
When do sellers report and remit the tax?
Sellers must report and remit the tax no later than the 20th day of the month following the month of collection. Sellers must file a return each month even for months during which no sales were made. The tax must be reported and remitted monthly even if the seller reports and remits sales and use tax on a quarterly or annual basis.
Are sellers allowed vendor’s compensation?
Yes. If the seller timely files the return and remits the tax, then the seller may deduct 3 percent of the first $3,000.00 of the total amount reported due on the return for each location and one-half of 1 percent of that portion exceeding $3,000.00 of the total amount reported due on the return for each location.
Will penalties apply to delinquent taxes?
Will interest apply to delinquent taxes?
Yes. The fireworks excise tax bears interest at the rate and in the manner set forth in O.C.G.A. § 48-2-40.
Will penalties apply to delinquent taxes?
Yes. For failure to file a return or failure to pay the amount of tax due in full, a penalty of $5 or 5%, whichever is greater, is added to the tax for each month the failure to file or pay continues, not to exceed $25 or 25%, whichever is greater. Please see Rule 560-13-1-.01 Fireworks Excise Tax for further guidance.
How can I learn more about the tax?
For more guidance, please refer to Rule 560-13-1-.01 Fireworks Excise Tax.