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TTB Updates and Guidance on COVID-19

COVID-19 Resources

We are closely monitoring COVID-19 developments to provide you with the latest updates and guidance to help you and your business respond to COVID-19.

As updates are available, we will post all information here. Sign up to be notified about updates to our Covid-19 page.

Newsletters

December 18, 2020Special Edition
This special edition contains updated hand sanitizer guidance to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 13, 2020Special Edition
This special edition is a reminder that postponed tax filings and payments are due.

June 24, 2020Special Edition
This special edition announces updated information about TTB extending the waiver of Notice of Intent (NOI) requirements for beer destructions.

May 18, 2020Special Edition
This special edition announces new guidance about the tax-free withdrawal of distilled spirits and products containing distilled spirits for hand sanitizer purposes under the CARES Act.

May 8, 2020Special Edition
This special edition announces a new industry circular at TTB.gov that addresses issues relating to trade practice enforcement during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

May 1, 2020Special Edition
This special edition announces new frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the destruction of unmerchantable beer and recovery of taxes paid, including the waiver of certain requirements for beer destructions and using beer to make hand sanitizer at a distillery.

April 20, 2020Special Edition
This special edition announces the extension of TTB hand sanitizer guidance through December 2020 and provides an update on TTB laboratory services.

March 31, 2020Special Edition
This special edition announces a 90-day postponement for most TTB excise tax-related filings.

March 30, 2020Special Edition
This special edition announces our new COVID-19 page on TTB.gov and a new online method to submit claims for tax refunds.

March 24, 2020Special Edition
This special edition contains information related to laboratory service delays due to COVID-19.

March 20, 2020Special Edition
This special edition contains tips for timely of your submissions during COVID-19.

March 13, 2020
This edition contains COVID-19 related topics, including returning products purchased for events cancelled due to COVID-19.

 Guidance

TTB G 2020-1C – Production of Hand Sanitizer to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic (06/23/2021)

TTB G 2020-4 – Additional Hand Sanitizer Guidance under CARES Act (05/18/2020)

TTB IC 2020-3 – Trade Practice Enforcement During COVID-19 Pandemic (05/08/2020)

TTB FAQs – Destruction of Beer During COVID-19 (05/01/2020) UPDATED (06/23/2020)

TTB IC 2020-2 – Tax Payment and Other Filing Due Dates Postponed for Industry Members Affected by COVID-19 (03/31/2020)

TTB G 2020-3 – Tips for Timely Processing of TTB Approvals and Requests During COVID-19 Emergency (03/20/2020)

TTB G 2020-2 – Returns of Alcohol Beverage Products Purchased for Events Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Emergency (03/18/2020)

 Financial Hardship

Having difficulty paying your Federal excise taxes?

If you are unable to pay the full amount of taxes you owe, we recommend that you still file your Federal excise tax returns and operational reports with TTB by the due dates and pay as much as you can to minimize penalties and interest.

You can submit current and past due excise tax returns and operational reports electronically through Pay.gov.

If you would like to discuss your financial hardship with TTB, contact us using our Financial Hardship Contact Request page.

 Electronic Filing

We know that our industries rely on timely approvals from TTB, whether just getting started or to manage their daily operations. Over the coming weeks, to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, and in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines, we will be very limited in our ability to receive and process paper submissions sent to our office locations.

To avoid delays or disruption to your operations during this period, we strongly encourage you to use our online filing options for all necessary TTB approvals.

Permits, Labels, and Formulas

  • To file for a TTB permit/registration, or to amend your existing permit, submit your application in Permits Online or register for an account to get started.
  • To file for a label approval, submit your application in COLAs Online or register for an account. If you already use Formulas Online, you don’t need to re-register - simply login and select “My Account,” then “Companies,” and finally “Add” to apply for a COLAs Online account.
  • To file for formula approval, submit your application in Formulas Online or register for an account. If you already use COLAs Online, you don’t need to re-register - simply login and select “My Account,” then “Companies,” and finally “Add” to apply for a Formulas Online account.

Export Certificates

We recognize that export certificates are time sensitive. To help ensure timely processing, we ask that you email all export certificate requests as a PDF file to exportcertificates@ttb.gov rather than mailing a hard copy to TTB. If you would like the certificate returned by express mail, please include a scanned, prepaid shipping label from the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx and attach it to your email request.

We anticipate significant delays in the processing of export certificates that are submitted in hard copy by mail. If you have any questions, please contact our International Affairs Division by email at exportcertificates@ttb.gov or by phone at 202-453-2260.

Claims

Our industries rely on timely refunds when filing claims. Claim forms are usually submitted by mail. As you know, at this time, we are very limited in our ability to receive and process any paper submissions sent to our office locations.

To avoid potentially significant delays, we have set up and strongly encourage you to use our electronic submission process to send your claim form and supporting documentation for that claim.

This process is only for submitting TTB Form 5620.8 Claim - Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Taxes. Ensure you only attach one claim form per submission together with the required documentation.

If you have questions about this process, please contact us using the National Revenue Center Contact Form, (with category type: Tax – Claims), or call 877-882-3277 / 877-TTB-FAQS (toll free), between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

 Walk-in Hours/Appointments

TTB is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of its employees and visitors. For this reason, and until further notice, we are suspending walk-in hours/appointments at our D.C. headquarters and all field offices, including the National Revenue Center in Cincinnati, OH, and the laboratories in Walnut Creek, CA, and Beltsville, MD.

During this period, industry members and/or their representatives will not be able to drop off paper applications, filings, or payments nor request in-person assistance. We will continue to be available to assist you by email or phone, and encourage you to Contact Us with questions.

All emails and calls are being routed to the appropriate offices, but you may experience delays in getting responses due to increased volume.

Laboratory Services (updated July 17, 2020)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily closed our laboratories. We are in the process of reopening these facilities, informed by state and local conditions, and we are adjusting services to accommodate employee safety and social distancing protocols.

As part of these protocols, we are limiting the number of staff conducting their work at our laboratories on a daily basis. As a result, submissions sent via mail may continue to be affected by service delays. We strongly recommend that industry members continue to submit laboratory applications and requests electronically, either through Formulas Online or the Contact Us form, as outlined below for each service.

If you have questions about the status of any formula applications or samples previously sent by mail, please contact the Scientific Services Division using the Contact Us form.

Laboratory Sample Analysis. We strongly encourage industry members to use Formulas Online to electronically submit all formula applications for alcohol beverages or nonbeverage products (including denatured alcohol) that require sample analysis. We will contact you with instructions about sending samples.

Please note that, as described in T.D. TTB-158, we no longer require laboratory sample analysis for products made with wormwood.  We are currently updating our guidance to reflect this change.

Sulfite Waiver Analysis for Domestic and Imported Wines. Until the laboratories resume normal operations, please submit any requests for a waiver from the mandatory sulfite labeling declaration using the Contact Us form.  We will contact you with instructions about sending samples.  

Gluten Evaluation. To avoid delays in determinations regarding gluten evaluation during this period, industry members are encouraged to submit supporting documentation for certain gluten content claims using the Contact Us form for the Scientific Services Division.

Proofing Device Requests. Distilled spirits proprietors who wish to use a proofing device other than the devices already recognized in our regulations and in TTB guidance should submit their information electronically for review and processing using the Contact Us form for the Scientific Services Division.

Chemist Certification Program. The 2020 spring cycle was cancelled due to the temporary TTB laboratory closures. Applications that had been sent for the spring cycle will automatically be considered for the fall cycle. We will provide updates if there are any changes to the fall schedule.

Any certifications that expired on June 30, 2020, are automatically extended until December 31, 2020.  If a delay in obtaining or renewing this certification presents challenges to any industry member's operations, please note that export analyses can be performed by other currently certified chemists listed on TTB.gov, or you may contact us with questions through Chemist.Certification@ttb.gov.

 Contact Us Forms

Many of you submit requests for various TTB services and guidance in hard copy via mail. These include letterhead requests for certain approvals, such as authorization for an alternate method or procedure or a new wine treating material.

To help us timely respond, we strongly encourage you to use the electronic submission option on the TTB.gov Contact Us pages to submit your requests for review and processing. If you haven’t used this submission method before, it’s easy!

If you normally mail us letterhead requests, check the mailing address and use the below list of Contact Us pages to direct your submission to the appropriate TTB office. From there, upload your request as an attachment to the contact form (one attachment per submission). Acceptable file types for attachments include: Word, Excel, PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF. Use the “My inquiry is about” dropdown to select the reason for your submission to help us route it appropriately.

 Other Resources

Coronavirus.gov – Official information from the COVID-19 Task Force at the White House

Coronavirus: Resources, Updates, and What You Should Know – U.S. Treasury

State Health Departments - COVID-19 Health Department information for each state

COVID-19 Disease 2019 – U.S. Food and Drug Administration

 

 

Page last reviewed: March 25, 2020
Page last updated: June 23, 2021