Difference Between Taxes and Duties

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Taxes and Duties

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


The government generates revenue from a variety of sources, with tax and duty being one of the most important. They assist the government in providing public essential infrastructures such as healthcare, transportation, postal, training, finance, nutrition, and infrastructure to the citizens of the country. A tax is a monetary charge imposed by the government on income, activity, or a commodity. It is divided into two categories: direct and indirect taxes. Income tax and wealth tax are the concepts of direct taxes. A country is governed peacefully when its government works to strengthen it in all aspects, including its economy, education programs, environmental assets, human resource management, and civil rights, among others. To improve a country's economy, the government levies a tax on its residents.

Taxes vs. Duties

The major distinction between duties and taxes is that a tax is a set sum of money assessed on things like income, wealth, services, and sales, whereas duty is a fee levied on goods that are imported and exported.

Taxes are defined in a variety of ways. "A tax is a required commitment from the person to the government without regard to exceptional benefits given". There are various qualities of taxes. The government's primary motivation for collecting taxes from citizens is to serve the interests of society and grow the economy. Taxes are an altruistic sort of payment by a citizen to his or her country because the citizen receives no benefits or services in exchange.

One of the numerous forms of taxes is duties. Duties are levied on goods that the government imports or exports. Excise and customs duties are the two most common forms of duties. Basic custom duties, countervailing duties, and other forms of custom duties exist. Customs duties are governed by different rules and regulations in different countries.

Everyone is required to pay taxes. This is a proven reality that everyone despises. Even though everyone despises paying taxes and continually complains about them, taxes are a vital aspect of every government.

A tax is a type of fee imposed on things like income, sales of products, and activities. Direct and indirect taxes are the two basic types of taxes. A duty is a particular kind of tax. It is most typically a tax paid on customs or the import and export of products. A tax is a type of fee levied on things like income, sales of products, and activities. Direct and indirect taxes are the two basic types of taxes. A direct tax is imposed on individual or business income directly. An indirect tax is levied on the price of a good or service.

The government's collection of taxes serves a vital purpose. They contribute to the government. The government receives revenue via taxes. The money raised from these taxes is used to help the government pay for services such as sanitation, law enforcement, railways and roads, public hospitals, and many more. Even though no one likes paying taxes, it is a legal requirement. The benefits that citizens receive from the government are paid for via taxes. Paying taxes is not only a necessary but also a legal obligation.

A person who does not pay taxes has the right to be prosecuted by the government. Tax evasion can result in government fines and even imprisonment for those who refuse to pay their taxes. However, there are several circumstances in which a tax exemption is permitted. People who meet the conditions in these cases.

An obligation is essentially a subset of a tax. It is most typically a tax paid on customs or the import and export of products. Any things acquired from outside the country and brought into the country may be subject to duties. Tariffs or dues are other terms for duties.

Specific goods, financial transactions, properties, and other entities are frequently subject to duty rather than persons. However, certain circumstances may allow someone to avoid doing the job. Some goods may be duty-free for everyone. Small quantities of a taxed item may be duty-free in some cases, but duty must be paid if the imported or exported commodity reaches a certain quantity or value.

Countries also enter into trade agreements that allow their citizens to trade specific commodities duty-free. There are also duty-free stores and districts where citizens can buy a specific number of items without paying any taxes.

A duty's primary goal is to generate income for the government. A duty, on the other hand, helps to discourage big imports of foreign goods and encourages the use of domestic goods.

Difference Between Taxes and Duties in Tabular Form

Parameters of comparison Taxes Duties
Explanation Taxes are levied on citizens based on their wealth, income, services, or sales. Duties are a set amount charged on imported or exported goods.
Founded by Mr. James Wilson Constitution of India
Year 1860 1962 in India
Objective To enhance wages to cover the costs of society. Safeguard our domestic industry.
Categories Taxes are classified as direct, indirect, progressive, regressive, or proportionate. Basic customs duties, countervailing duties, additional customs duties or special duties, safeguard duties, national calamity contingent duties, anti-dumping duties, education on customs duties, and protective duties are all forms of customs duties.

What are Taxes?

Taxes are levied on citizens based on their wealth, income, services, or sales. Sir James Wilson coined the phrase tax in the business realm, as well as the entire world, in 1860. The primary goal of taxes is to enhance a country's economy and cover societal costs.

Taxes come in a variety of forms and are imposed on a variety of items. There are various methods for collecting taxes. Direct and indirect taxes are two of the most common types of tax. Goods and Service Tax, Custom duty, and other indirect taxes are examples.

Tax is a government-imposed financial obligation imposed on income, products, and activities. It is one of the most important sources of government revenue, and it is used to provide a variety of services to the public. Other taxes, such as property taxes, are imposed based on the assessed value of a held asset. The central and state governments have the authority to levy the tax.

In economics, taxes are levied upon who suffers the cost of the tax, whether it is the taxing organization, such as a business, or the end-users of the company's products. Payroll taxes, federal and state income taxes, and sales taxes are all factors to be considered from an accounting point of view.

Types of Taxes

Direct Tax

Direct tax is a type of tax that is levied on a person's earnings or wealth. . The tax burden is moved to someone else, in this case, therefore the taxpayer and the tax carrier are two different categories of people. It is a tax in which money is moved first from one person authorized to the other person who is the taxpayer, then transfer to the government sector.

Indirect Tax

Indirect taxes are a type of tax that is levied on products or services. The tax burden is moved to someone else, in this case, therefore the taxpayer and the tax carrier are two different categories of people. It is a tax in which money is moved first from one person authorized to the other person who is the taxpayer, then transfer to the government sector.

A government frequently taxes the individual person and some of the corporate citizens to help pay for public works and services, as well as to create and maintain the country's welfare. The money raised goes toward improving the economy and the lives of those who live in it. Tax revenues are used for public work departments and the operation of the government, as well as for Social Security services and Medicare. As the enormous baby boomer generation has aged, Social Security and Medicare have accounted for a growing share of overall federal tax revenue expenditures.

What are Duties?

Duties are a set amount charged on imported or exported goods. In the year 1962, the Indian Constitution established customs duty as a taxing method. Custom duties and customs duties are the two primary types of duties. Basic custom duties, Countervailing duty, Additional customs duty or Special duty, Safeguard duty, National Calamity Contingent duty, Anti-dumping duty, and Protective duties are some of the sub-categories of Customs Duty. Customs duties help to regulate the movement of products in and out of the country. The cost of customs duties is proportionate to the cost of the goods.

Customs duties are calculated using a variety of approaches, including the comparative value method, deductive value method, computed value method, and the fallback method. These days, customs duties can be paid online through e-payment websites. Varying countries have different customs duties.

The meanings of different sub-categories of custom duties vary. Basic Customs Duty, for example, is a tax imposed on products at a defined and specific rate. Safeguard Levy, on the other hand, is a duty imposed to protect an increase in exports from harming the home economy. Because of customs duties, a fair balance is created in the export and import of commodities.

Type of Duties

Excise Duties

Excise Duty is a tax placed on the production of commodities within the country. Central Value Added Tax is abbreviated as CENVAT. The two main statutes that control Excise Duty in India are the Central Excise Act of 1944 and the Central Excise Tariff Act of 1985.

Customs Duties

Customs Duty is a levy levied by the Indian government when products are traded outside of the country. It is levied on the commodities' imports and export. The Customs Act of 1962 and the Customs Tariff Act of 1975 control customs duty. Import Duty is the tax levied on imports, whereas Export Duty is the tax charged on exports.

Individuals and businesses who send or receive overseas cargo are subject to taxes imposed by governments. Before delivery may take place, these fees must be paid. Customs or import tariffs are the terms for these fees. Tariffs or charges on goods moving across international borders are levied.

Customs duty rates are calculated as a percentage of the total value of goods purchased in another country. The product's quality, size, or weight are not deciding criteria. The United States' Harmonized Tariff System is used as a domestic reference for duties on items imported into the country.

A duty is a type of tax imposed on certain imported and exported goods, services, or other transactions. Duty rates are calculated as a proportion of the entire value of goods purchased in another country. By restricting the entrance and outflow of merchandise, duties provide a type of commerce protection for workers, the economy, the environment, and other interests. Someone's moral or fiduciary responsibility can also be considered a duty.

Main Differences Between Taxes and Duties in Points

  • Customs duties are levied on items that are exported and imported globally, whereas taxes are levied on services, sales, and income.
  • Direct tax, indirect tax, progressive tax, regressive tax, and proportionate tax are all types of taxes. Duties, on the other hand, are divided into sub-categories like Excise Duties and Customs Duties, with customs duties being further divided into different sorts.
  • Taxes are levied by either the state or the federal government. Only the central government is responsible for collecting duties.
  • The phrase "tax" stands on its own. Customs duty, on the other hand, is a sort of tax.
  • On the other hand, the word "tax" comes from the Latin word "taxare." The word "duties" comes from the Anglo-French word "deueté."


Taxes and duties are both types of taxes that are intended to help a country's economy grow, and it is every citizen's responsibility to pay their taxes on time without being irresponsible or postponing them. Paying taxes has become easier because of the availability of online customs duty payments via e-payment gateways. Since its inception, the taxation system has undergone numerous changes. People frequently criticize or postpone paying taxes, yet they fail to realize that their contribution might help their own country's economy grow and prosper. The Department of Revenue, which reports to the Ministry of Finance, is in charge of tax and duty administration in India. The direct and indirect taxes are administered by two boards.



Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Taxes and Duties." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 20 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-taxes-and-duties-411>.

Edited by

Share this article