Difference between Duty and Tariff

Key Difference: Duty and Tariff are two different kinds of taxes. A duty is a kind of tax being levied on specific commodities, financial transactions, estates, etc. Tariff is such as tax that is levied on imports or exports.

One of the primary sources of income for a government is taxation. There are many various types of taxes that a government levies, either on their own citizens or on citizens of other countries.  

Tariff is such as tax that is levied on imports or exports. The general meaning of the word is basically a list of prices, which is why some countries may even use the term tariff in relevance to such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage. However, is the general acceptance of the term, it is mainly used to describe a tax levied on imports and exports.

A duty, on the other hand, is a kind of tax being levied on specific commodities, financial transactions, estates, etc. There are many types of duties import duties, excise duties, stamp duties, death or succession duties, etc.

In terms of customs, i.e. import and export, the terms duty and tariff are interchangeable and are mainly used synonymously. The main purpose of duties or tariffs is to the restrict trade of certain commodities, as the duty/tariff in added onto its cost and hence increases the total cost.

The only difference between the terms ‘duty’ and ‘tariff’ is that tariff may often be used where the government and economy mentioned. This basically means that tariff is used to refer to the rate of tax that must be applied as tax. For example:  the tariff is 15% of the total cost. Whereas, the term ‘duty’ is used to refer to the actual amount or the figure that must be paid as tax. For example: a duty of $1000.

Comparison between Duty and Tariff:

 

Duty

Tariff

Description

A kind of tax being levied on specific commodities, financial transactions, estates, etc.

A tax on imports or exports or a list of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage (electrical tariff, etc.).

Types

Customs duty - synonymous with tariff

Estate duty - a tax levied on the estate of a deceased person in many jurisdictions or on the inheritance of a person.

Customs duty

In customs

Customs duty or tariff is based generally on the value of goods or upon the weight, dimensions, or some other criteria of the item (such as the size of the engine, in case of automobiles).

Other uses

Import duties, excise duties, stamp duties, death or succession duties, etc.

As a general list of prices

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