This section of the book is from the "Introduction To Public Finance" book, by Carl Copping Plehn.
We shall now look at the incidence of the more important taxes, taking them in the order of our previous discussion. Excise taxes and customs duties, so far as the latter yield a revenueand fall upon citizens of the country laying them,1 are for our present purposethe same. They are classed by Professor Seligman as "virtually one form of the profits tax," which, " in the great majority of cases," will be " shifted in whole or in greater part." What Professor Seligman says upon this point2 is true enough and very clear, but we shall follow an entirely different analysis.
In the case of these taxes it is the intention of the law-maker that the tax shall be shifted to the consumer. If any of it remains on the producer or importer, it may be said to have been shifted back. This takes place sometimes: (1) if the taxed commodity is produced as a monopoly, and the price is already as high as the traffic will bear, i.e. the addition of the tax to the price would lessen the sale, then a part or the whole of the tax comes out of the profits of the monopolist; (2) a new tax on some commodity produced by a large plant of fixed capital, not easily transferable to other lines, may remain on the producer. In all other cases an excise or an import tax cannot be shifted from the consumer.