AWS Billing and Cost Management
User Guide (Version 2.0)

Using Cost Allocation Tags

You can use cost allocation tags to categorize and track your AWS costs. When you apply tags to your AWS resources (such as Amazon EC2 instances or Amazon S3 buckets) and activate the tags, AWS generates a cost allocation report as a comma-separated value (CSV file) with your usage and costs aggregated by your active tags. You can apply tags that represent business categories (such as cost centers, application names, or owners) to organize your costs across multiple services.

The cost allocation report includes all of your AWS costs for each billing period. The report includes both tagged and untagged resources, so you can clearly organize the charges for resources. For example, if you tag resources with an application name, you can track the total cost of a single application that runs on those resources. The following shows a partial report with columns for each tag.

Partial Cost Allocation Report showing your tag names, which are also called keys, as columns

At the end of the billing cycle, the total charges (tagged and untagged) on the billing report with cost allocation tags reconciles with the total charges on your Bills page total and other billing reports for the same period.

You can also use tags to filter views in Cost Explorer. Note that before you can filter views by tags in Cost Explorer, you must have applied tags to your resources and activate them, as described in the following sections. For more information about Cost Explorer, see Analyzing Your Costs with Cost Explorer.

This topic discusses how to structure and receive cost allocation reports. For more information on how to get a billing report that includes your cost allocation tags, use the procedures in Monthly Cost Allocation Report.


AWS writes billing reports to an Amazon S3 bucket that you create and own. You can retrieve these reports from the bucket using the Amazon S3 API, AWS Management Console for Amazon S3, or the Amazon S3 command line interface (CLI). The cost allocation report cannot be downloaded from the Account Activity page of the Billing and Cost Management console.