IRS Publishes List of Chemicals Subject to Superfund Tax

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Public Law 117-58, 135 Stat. 429 (November 15, 2021) reinstated the excise taxes imposed on certain chemical substances to help clean up hazardous waste sites (“the Superfund tax”).

Section 80201 of the IIJA identified more than 40 chemicals subject to the tax and the rates at which those substances will be taxed, including benzene, methane, xylene, toluene, and phosphorus.

Section 80201 also directed the IRS to publish an initial list of taxable substances under section 4672(a) of the Internal Revenue Code by January 1, 2022.  The initial list was published on December 13, 2021.   It comprises 101 chemical substances, including bisphenol-A, butyl benzyl phthalate, glycerine, pentaerythritol, perchloroethylene, tetrahydrofuran, and trichloroethylene.  The section also states the tax will last until December 31, 2031.

The IRS will publish guidance on the procedures by which importers or exporters may request a determination that the list of taxable substances be modified by either adding or removing a substance.

Limited exceptions are provided for chemicals that are part of an intermediate hydrocarbon stream and to the sale of any intermediate hydrocarbon streams.  Registration under section 4662(c)(2)(B) is required to qualify for these exceptions.

IIJA requires full implementation of the tax by July 1, 2022.