TTB Posts New Q&A on Reduced Excise Tax Rate Guidance

The Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has posted further information of interest to brewers as part of the continuing effort to provide guidance concerning the reduced excise tax rates. The new information follows and complete information is available on TTB’s Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform page.


Since Federal excise tax rates are lower in calendar year 2018, for purposes of determining my eligibility to file quarterly or annual returns in 2018, can I recalculate my 2017 Federal excise tax liability based on the new lower rates?

To be eligible for quarterly or annual filing, an existing proprietor must reasonably expect that it will not exceed the applicable liability limits for excise taxes imposed on distilled spirits, wines and beer for the calendar year, and must not have exceeded those liability limits in the preceding calendar year. The liability in the preceding calendar year is the taxpayer’s actual liability under the rates applicable during that time. For example, if a brewer was liable in the preceding calendar year for more than $50,000 in excise taxes imposed on beer, based on the tax rates applicable during that year, then the brewer is required by law to file returns semimonthly in the current calendar year. See 26 U.S.C. 5061(d)(4).

New proprietors commencing operations in 2018 may file quarterly or annually in 2018 if they reasonably expect, using the temporarily lower effective tax rates, that they will not exceed the applicable liability limits for quarterly or annual filing.

For more information regarding your eligibility to file quarterly or annually or whether you are required to obtain a bond, you may contact TTB’s National Revenue Center.

Pete Johnson serves as the State & Regulatory Affairs Manager for the Brewers Association. He joined the BA at its inception in 2005, having previously worked as Programs Director for the Brewers Association of America. Before coming to the small brewing industry in 2001, Pete worked for 14 years with both state and federal elected officials in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

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