Useful electronic, magnetic, and optical properties have been proposed and observed in thin films of Ti1-x Mx O2 (M=Ta,Nb,V). In this work, we have studied phase formation for films of Ti 1-x Tax O2 prepared by pulsed laser deposition. We show that substitutional Ta in TiO2 results in a different material system in terms of its electronic properties. Moss-Burstein shift is ruled out by comparing the electrical transport data of anatase and rutile TiO2. Vegard's law fit to the blueshift data and the high energy optical reflectivity studies confirm the formation of an alloy with a distinct band structure. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.