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New Excise Tax Filing Rules for 2017

IRS Eases Filing Burden for Small Alcohol Producers
Included in the massive tax extenders legislation that Congress passed and the President signed in December, is a relief provision for small alcohol producers relating to Federal Excise Taxes.

The new provisions will take effect in 2017 and include:
  • Taxpayers who reasonably expect to be liable for not more than $1,000 in taxes imposed on beer, wine and distilled spirits (and who were not liable for more than $1,000 in such taxes for the preceding year) can pay those taxes annually, rather than quarterly.
  • Small producers with an excise tax liability between $1,000 and $50,000 will be required to file their taxes on a quarterly basis.
  • Bonding requirements for small producers with less than $50,000 in excise tax liabilities will be removed.
  • For hard cider removed after December 31, 2016, the definition of wine that qualifies for the "hard cider" tax rate will be changed by increasing the alcohol content to less than 8.5% (from less than 7% under current law), increasing the carbonation rate from .392 to .64 gram of CO2 per hundred milliliters, and authorizing the use of pears, pear juice concentrate, pear products and flavorings.
Note that the hard cider changes for excise tax purposes does not affect the labeling, advertising, permitting and other requirements that continue to apply to ciders containing 7% or more alcohol by volume.

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