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TTB Announcement

 

Waiver of Certain Requirements for Wineries and Other Businesses Affected by 2017 California Wildfires

October 23, 2017

TTB recognizes that the devastation caused by wildfires in California has affected the operations of certain taxpayers. As a result, those taxpayers may not be able comply with certain TTB requirements.  TTB is offering the following waivers:

Filing Excise Returns and Making Payments

TTB will waive late filing, payment, or deposit penalties related to excise taxes on wine, distilled spirits, beer, and tobacco products on a case-by-case basis. Wherever warranted, waivers will be approved based on the statutory standard of reasonable cause and a lack of willful neglect demonstrated by the taxpayer.

Affected taxpayers include all taxpayers located in areas declared a Major Disaster by the President of the United States. Please visit the Major Disaster Declarations page at FEMA.gov, to determine if your business is located in one of the disaster areas.

The waiver of penalties may also apply to taxpayers such as relief workers, taxpayers whose place of employment is located in an affected area, and taxpayers whose records are maintained in the above areas.

To qualify for a waiver, a taxpayer must demonstrate to the satisfaction of TTB that recent events or related events directly affected their ability to timely file, pay, or deposit. This request should be submitted either by mail or faxed to TTB's National Revenue Center.

Reporting Casualty Loses of Wine

Due to the extent of damage caused by the 2017 wildfires, TTB is not requiring that wineries report casualty losses immediately. Proprietors should instead report their losses as soon as they are able to determine the extent of the damage to their inventories. In their submissions, proprietors should provide the following information:

  • Name and address of the bonded wine premises
  • Registry number of the bonded wine premises ("BWN/BWC/BW-State-xxxxx")
  • Kind of wine
  • Alcohol content
  • Approximate volume in gallons
  • Date of loss
  • Reason for loss (i.e., fire damage)
  • Printed name of winery representative
  • Signature (Person signing must have signing authority)
  • Telephone number

This information should be submitted, either by mail or faxed to TTB's National Revenue Center.
The volume of wine lost must also be reported on TTB F 5120.17, Report of Wine Premises Operations, for the reporting period during which the loss occurred.

Destruction of Taxpaid Wine

Due to the circumstances caused by the 2017 wildfires, TTB is waiving the requirement that proprietors must first obtain TTB approval before destroying taxpaid wine. However, proprietors must still submit a notification, as soon as practical, to the NRC containing the information required by 27 CFR 24.294. This notification should include the following information:

  • Date of the letter
  • Name and address of the bonded wine premises
  • Registry number of the bonded wine premises ("BWN/BWC/BW-State-xxxxx")
  • Kind of wine
  • Alcohol content
  • Approximate volume in gallons
  • Where wine was destroyed
  • Date of destruction
  • Reason for destruction
  • Printed name of winery representative
  • Signature (Person signing must have signing authority)
  • Telephone number

This information should be submitted, either by mail or faxed to TTB's National Revenue Center.

Destruction of Taxpaid Wine Spirits

Due to the circumstances caused by the 2017 wildfires, TTB is waiving the requirement in 27 CFR  24.235(b) that proprietors must first obtain TTB approval before destroying wine spirits. However, proprietors must still submit a notification as soon as practical.  The notification must be sent to the District Director, Trade Investigations Division, who serves your area. For contact information, see our Trade Investigation Division Office Location Map at TTB.gov.

See When Disaster Strikes for more information on disaster claims or visit our Disaster Relief page to view additional related information.  When Disaster Strikes also contains guidance for distilled spirits, beer, and tobacco businesses in addition to those for wine.

If your business was affected by a natural disaster and you have questions regarding alcohol or tobacco excise tax-related filing or reporting, please contact us at 877-882-3277 (toll free) or submit an online inquiry.

This TTB Announcement updates and replaces the one issued on October 11, 2017

Page last reviewed: September 8, 2017
Page last updated: February 27, 2018
Maintained by: Office of Congressional and Public Affairs

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