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TTB Newsletter January 8, 2021

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January 8, 2021


Greetings! This week's top news includes a summary of recent Craft Beverage Modernization Act (CBMA) changes, and Janet Scalese’s retirement.


In addition to making the Craft Beverage Modernization Act (CBMA) provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 permanent, the recent amendments to the Internal Revenue Code included several notable changes to those provisions, some of which were effective January 1, 2021, and others with 2022 or 2023 effective dates.

The temporary CBMA provisions that are now permanent include:

Key changes made to earlier CBMA provisions include:

  • Transfer in Bond of Non-Bulk Distilled Spirits: Beginning January 1, 2021, the law prohibits the transfer of bottled spirits in bond except:
    • between bonded premises belonging to the same person or members of the same controlled group,
    • if the distilled spirits are transferred in bond from the DSP who distilled or processed the spirits to another DSP for bottling or storage and returned to the transferor for removal, but only if the transferor retained title during the entire period between such distillation, or processing, and removal, or
    • for  transfers of spirits for industrial purposes.
  • Single Taxpayer Incorporation of Spirits Processing: Beginning January 1, 2021, entities who process distilled spirits are included in the Single Taxpayer distilled spirits provision. Under that provision,  pursuant to rules issued by the Secretary, two or more entities (whether or not under common control) that produce beer, wine, or distilled spirits, or process distilled spirits, under a license, franchise, or other arrangement shall be treated as a single taxpayer.
  • Exclusion of bottling from processing for reduced rate purposes: Effective January 1, 2022, only Distilled Spirits Producers who perform a processing activity other than bottling are entitled to take a CBMA reduced rate on distilled spirits that they process and remove. Entities who only bottle beverage distilled spirits will not be eligible for a reduced tax rate under CBMA on such spirits removed.   
  • Imports and Foreign Producer Election. 
    • Import Administration: Beginning in 2023, the reduced tax rates and tax credits on beer, wine, and distilled spirits produced outside the United States and imported will be administered by the Treasury Department under a refund system of providing the benefit of assigned reduced rates to importers.  Since CBMA was enacted in 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has administered the reduced rates and credits on imports including the foreign producers’ assignment of reduced rates and credits to electing importers, and CBP maintains administration over imports subject to CBMA for 2021-2022. See CBP guidance, for example CSMS #45315560 of December 31, 2020.
    • Information requirements for foreign producers:  A new provision (26 U.S.C. 6038E) requires a foreign producer that elects to make a reduced rate or credit assignment to provide information about its structure (including controlled group information) in accordance with requirements prescribed by the Secretary.

We will issue updated guidance in the near future.  In the meantime, if you have questions about CBMA, please contact us. For more information on imported products, please contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


After 37 years of public service at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and TTB, Janet Scalese retired as Director of the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division (ALFD) effective January 2nd.

Ms. Scalese started her federal career in the early 1980s, making history as ATF's first female chemist.  After a six-month tour in the Beverage Alcohol Laboratory, she moved over to the Nonbeverage Products Laboratory, where she served for 30 years – including 12 as the head of that unit.

In 2014, Ms. Scalese was selected as the Director, ALFD.  Following TTB’s receipt of additional funding to accelerate alcohol beverage label and formula approvals, she led the division in drastically reducing processing times through streamlining, hiring, online system enhancements, and using workforce and workload modeling.  Her efforts were recognized by the Department of the Treasury when she was awarded the 2019 Gears in Government Award, which recognizes initiatives that have directly improved mission, service, or stewardship outcomes through the change driving application of technology, improvements in operations, and other innovations.

Gracie Joy, Deputy Director, ALFD, will be the acting director until we fill the position permanently.



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Last reviewed: November 7, 2016
Last updated: April 26, 2024