Tax Costs Law and Legal Definition

When a judgment is entered in favor of a party it may use the language “and costs.” The costs are not itemized at this point. If the parties are unable to agree as to the amount of costs, the prevailing party may file a bill of costs and granting such costs is sometimes referred to as taxing costs.. A bill of costs is distinct from a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs. In some situations it may be appropriate to file both a bill of costs and a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs. Duplicate costs, however, will not be awarded.

The procedure for taxing costs varies between districts. When and how taxation takes place depends upon local practice, statutes, case decisions, and local court rules.

A motion to tax costs may also refer to a motion that disputes a claim for court costs submitted by a prevailing party in a lawsuit and asks the judge to deny or reduce claimed costs.