TTB Updates and Guidance on COVID-19
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.
May 18, 2020 – Special 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, 2020 – Special 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, 2020 – Special 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, 2020 – Special 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, 2020 – Special Edition
This special edition announces a 90-day postponement for most TTB excise tax-related filings.
March 30, 2020 – Special 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 26, 2020 – Special Edition
This special edition contains updated hand sanitizer guidance to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 24, 2020 – Special Edition
This special edition contains information related to laboratory service delays due to COVID-19.
March 20, 2020 – Special 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.
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)
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)
TTB G 2020-1A – Production of Hand Sanitizer to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic (03/26/2020)
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.
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.
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.
In response to state and local stay-at-home orders, and for the safety and protection of our employees in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, all TTB laboratories are temporarily closed, pending further notice.
Due to these closures, we will not be able to process product samples or paper submissions sent to the laboratories via mail until they reopen. Therefore, we are providing the following options to facilitate industry members’ ability to get their products to the marketplace, including through the electronic submission of information wherever possible, until the TTB laboratories reopen.
We are currently evaluating additional options to minimize delays for affected industry members as a result of the temporary closure of the laboratories during the pandemic, and we will update this information as appropriate.
Laboratory Sample Analysis. During the laboratory closures, We are temporarily unable to process formula applications for alcohol beverage products, nonbeverage products, or denatured alcohol that require product samples. We will continue to process formulas that do not require laboratory sample analysis and encourage industry members to submit those formulas electronically in Formulas Online. For additional information, please review our online resources on formula requirements, including a List of Alcohol Beverages that Require Formula Approval with Lab Analysis, as well as information about nonbeverage drawback formulas and SDA formulas.
Sulfite Waiver Analysis for Domestic and Imported Wines. Until the laboratories reopen, we will not be able to analyze samples of domestic and imported wine products that bottlers or importers assert contain less than 10 parts per million total sulfur dioxide and, therefore, are not subject to mandatory sulfite labeling declarations. The review of requests for sulfite waiver testing and label approval for such claims for certain wines will accordingly be delayed.
Chemist Certification Program. The TTB Chemist Certification Program is a voluntary program that certifies private industry chemists to analyze wine, distilled spirits, and beer for export. We issue a call for applications twice a year, in the spring and fall. The 2020 spring cycle is cancelled due to the TTB laboratory closures. Applications that have already been sent for the spring cycle will automatically be considered for the fall cycle. Potential applicants who have not yet applied should apply for consideration in the fall. Updates will be provided if there are any changes to the fall schedule.
Chemist certifications are valid for two years. Any certifications that are due to expire by June 30, 2020, are extended until December 31, 2020.
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.
- National Revenue Center - www.ttb.gov/contact-nrc
- Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division - www.ttb.gov/contact-alfd
- International Affairs Division - www.ttb.gov/contact-iad
- Regulations and Rulings Division - www.ttb.gov/contact-rrd
- Scientific Services Division Laboratories - www.ttb.gov/contact-ssd
- Congressional and Public Affairs - www.ttb.gov/contact-cpa
- Office of Industry and State Outreach - www.ttb.gov/contact-el
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: May 18, 2020