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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

March 13, 2015


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! We hope you had a sky blue and cheery week! This week's top stories include an announcement about new TTB Guidance for wineries on filing tax returns and operations reports annually, information about gauging and tax determination of distilled spirits, information about TTB's statistical reports, and a list of the past week's top Tax Audit pages at TTB.gov/.

TTB ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE ON ANNUAL FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR WINERIES

Filing Excise Tax Returns and Wine Operations Reports Annually

Wineries meeting certain eligibility requirements may file the Excise Tax Return (TTB F 5000.24) and the Report of Wine Premises Operations (TTB F 5120.17) annually.

Eligibility for Annual Filing of Excise Tax Returns

Some wineries may file excise tax returns annually provided they meet the following requirements, found in 27 CFR 24.273:

The proprietor has not given a bond for deferred payment of wine excise tax, and the proprietor:

  • Paid wine excise taxes in an amount less than $1,000 during the previous calendar year; or
  • Is the proprietor of a newly established bonded wine premises and expects to pay less than $1,000 in wine excise taxes before the end of the calendar year.

Eligibility for Annual Filing of the Report of Wine Premises Operations

To qualify to file the Report of Wine Premises Operations annually, a proprietor must meet the following requirements (see 27 CFR 24.300(g)(2)(iii)):

  • File the Excise Tax Return (TTB F 5000.24) annually in accordance with § 24.273, and
  • Not expect the total of all bulk and bottled wine to be accounted for in all tax classes to exceed 20,000 gallons for any one month during the calendar year.

You may file both the Excise Tax Return (TTB F 5000.24) and Report of Wine Premises Operations (TTB F 5120.17) electronically using Pay.gov/, or you may download, complete and mail them to the addresses listed in the instructions on the on the forms.

Read TTB G 2015-1 for additional details on these eligibility requirements.

DETERMINATION OF PROOF AND STATEMENTS OF ALCOHOL CONTENT ON DISTILLED SPIRITS LABELS

The distilled spirits labeling regulations require that a statement of alcohol content appear on the label of each distilled spirit product (see 27 CFR 5.32(a)(3)). The regulations provide for a small tolerance due to losses of alcohol content during bottling, but there is no tolerance provided for the alcohol content being over what the label states (see 27 CFR 5.37).

Historically, the most frequent noncompliance that we discover in distilled spirits products examined through our Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program is that the actual alcohol content of the product is either outside of the labeling tolerance allowed for being under the labeled statement of alcohol content, or it is over the labeled statement. Because distilled spirits excise taxes are calculated based on the actual alcohol content, an understatement of the alcohol content on the label likely means that you underpaid the excise tax due on that product. That may mean that you also owe penalties and interest (see 26 U.S.C. § 5001(a)(1), 26 U.S.C. § 6601 and 26 U.S.C. § 6662).

On TTB.gov/ we provide a lot of information to help you avoid this situation.  First and foremost, please be very familiar with the regulations regarding gauging and tax determination (see 27 CFR 19.225 – 227 and 27 CFR part 19 – subpart K).

Other useful guidance includes:

If you have questions about gauging and tax determination of spirits, please submit them to TTBInternetQuestions@ttb.gov/.

LATEST BEER AND TOBACCO MONTHLY STATISTICS AVAILABLE AT TTB.gov/

Did you know that we publish at TTB.gov/ data about U.S. beer production, known as the Beer Statistical Release? We publish a Beer Statistical Release for each month of the year. We take data for the Beer Statistical Release reports directly from the Brewers Report of Operations TTB F 5130.9 and the Quarterly Brewer's Report of Operations TTB F 5130.26.

The beer statistical release covering December 2014 is now available. For more statistics, visit our TTB Beer Statistical Releases Archives.

To learn more about the beer industry or get the latest news and events, see our main Beer page.

Tobacco Statistics

We also publish data about U.S. tobacco product production. As with the beer statistics, we publish a Tobacco Statistical Release for each month of the year. Data for the Tobacco Statistical Release is derived directly from the Report – Manufacturer of Tobacco Products or Cigarette Papers and Tubes, TTB F 5210.5.

The tobacco statistical release covering December 2014 is now available. For more statistics, visit our TTB Tobacco Statistical Releases Archives.

To learn more about the tobacco industry or get the latest news and events, see our main Tobacco page.

Subscribe and Stay Updated

Remember, you can also subscribe to receive statistical release publication notifications for beer and tobacco; doing so means you'll be notified as soon as we have the releases available!

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