On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the “The Infrastructure Bill”), which reinstated and expanded the Superfund Taxes under sections 4661 and 4671 of the tax code. Prior to the expiration in 1995, the Superfund Taxes were used to fund the Hazardous Substance Response Trust or “Superfund”. Expenditures were administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and used to clean up hazardous waste sites in the United States. The Superfund Taxes will apply to designated chemicals and chemical-containing substances, effective July 1, 2022 through December 31, 2031, absent extension. The Superfund Taxes are comprised of two main taxes on taxable chemicals and taxable substances.
- Taxable Chemical
The tax on taxable chemicals, under Section 4661 of the IRC, applies to the sale or use of 42 specific taxable chemical listed in Section 4661 by a manufacturer, producer, or importer of such chemical. Each chemical has a specified rate of tax and imposed on a per-ton basis, ranging from $0.44 to $9.74. There are exceptions to and exemptions from the chemical sales excise tax that are provided in Section 4662. For example, taxable chemicals sold for export or for resale by the purchaser to a second purchaser for export are exempted from the tax.
- Taxable Substance
Section 4671 imposes tax on taxable substances sold or used by importers. Taxable substances are defined in Section 4672 as (1) the 50 substances included on the initial list of taxable substances, (2) 101 taxable substances listed on Notice 2021-66 published by the IRS, (3) substances that are comprised of more than 20% of taxable chemicals listed in Section 4661 by weight or value, and (4) any substance that IRS adds to the list of taxable substances at the request of an importer or exporter. Notice 2021-66 does not provide the current tax rate of each taxable substance. Without further guidance and new published rates, taxpayers are forced to determine the rate for each taxable substance based on the composition of such substance . If the taxpayer cannot provide sufficient information about the chemicals used in a substance to determine the applicable tax, taxes are imposed on 10% of the appraised value of the imported substance.
- Reporting requirement
Taxpayers who are liable for Superfund Taxes on either the taxable chemical or the taxable substance are subject to reporting and payment requirements. These taxes must be reported quarterly bases on IRS Form 6627, which is attached to IRS Form 720. In addition, taxpayers will be required to make semi-monthly deposits to the IRS if quarterly liability is greater than $2,500.
The reinstatement of the Superfund Taxes will impact companies throughout the country in a wide variety of industries. Taxpayers who import, produce, and/or use the taxable chemicals and/or taxable substances should determine the applicability of the Superfund Taxes and be ready to comply with the law.