TTB Issues Industry Circular On Repeal of Bond Requirements

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has issued an industry circular to provide final guidance on the removal of bond requirements for certain wineries, breweries and distilleries that are liable for not more than $50,000 in federal excise taxes in a calendar year. As WineAmerica has reported over the past year, this tax filing change was authorized as  part of the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that was signed into law in December 2015. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) was folded into the omnibus legislation as part of a comprehensive package. WineAmerica advocated strongly for the inclusion of these new rules in the larger appropriations bill. The new rules went into effect on January 1.

The new bond exemption is for wineries that expect to have not more than $50,000 in excise taxes imposed in calendar year 2017. Additionally, to qualify for the exemption wineries must have been liable or no more than $50,000 in federal excise taxes in 2016. Because eligibility for the bond exemption depends in part on a taxpayer’s expected tax liability, taxpayers who are eligible for the bond exemption and who want to operate without a bond must notify TTB and obtain TTB approval. New applicants must notify TTB that they are eligible for the bond exemption during the initial application process. Existing taxpayers who wish to apply for the bond exemption must do so by amending their permit.

TTB amended its application forms (including the online equivalents submitted using TTB’s Permits Online system) to allow taxpayers to notify TTB that they are eligible for the bond exemption and request TTB approval to operate without a bond. For more efficient processing, TTB recommends that taxpayers who have previously applied using Permits Online, as well as all new applicants, use Permits Online to submit applications and amendments. Existing taxpayers who are not yet users of Permits Online should file this amendment by paper application. TTB cannot begin processing an existing taxpayer’s bond termination request until it receives the taxpayer’s final tax payments covering any remaining excise taxes incurred in 2016.

For more information or if you have specific questions please contact Michael Kaiser at mkaiser@wineamerica.org or 202-223-5172

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WineAmerica is the national voice the American wine industry. Based in Washington, D.C., WineAmerica represents wineries in 43 states and leads a coalition of state and regional wine and grape associations. As an industry leader, WineAmerica encourages the dynamic growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy.

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