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Last Updated: 2/16/2018

Fermented Malt Beverage Excise Tax

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Who must file and pay the Fermented Malt Beverage Excise Tax?

Wholesalers, importers, and brewers of fermented malt beverages must file a Malt Beverages Excise Tax Return or Excise Tax Return for Brewers and pay the tax due. The tax rate is based on the alcohol content per the table below.

Alcohol Content Tax per 31 Gallon Barrel
More than ​3.2 percent ​$4.60
​3.2 percent or less $2.40

Fermented malt beverage

A "fermented malt beverage" is any beer, ale, or other beverage that is both:

  • made from malt by fermentation; and

  • has an alcohol content, by volume, of at least 0.5 percent (one-half of 1 percent).

Flavored malt beverage

A “flavored malt beverage” is any fermented malt beverage that meets either of the following definitions:

  • It contains 6 percent or less alcohol by volume and derives at least 51 percent of its alcohol content from the fermentation of grain-derived carbohydrates. (That is, 49 percent or less of the beverage’s overall alcohol content comes from flavors or other added ingredients that contain alcohol.)

  • It contains more than 6 percent alcohol by volume and 1.5 percent or less of its overall alcohol content comes from flavors and other ingredients that contain alcohol.

Note: Flavored malt beverages do not include cider or alcoholic beverages that are obtained primarily by the fermentation of rice (such as sake).

When are the return and payment due?

You must file a return and pay any tax due by the 18th of the month for the previous month even if you had no sales to report.

If your tax averages less than $500 or more per month, you may request a quarterly or annual filing schedule. For more information, see the instructions for the Malt Beverages Excise Tax Return or the Excise Tax Return for Brewers.

If your alcohol tax liability was $250,000 or more during a fiscal year ending June 30, you must accelerate your June liability for the next year. (See Alcohol Accelerated Payment.)

How do I file the return?

You can file:

What are my payment options?

You can pay this tax:

See Make a Payment for more information.

What is the Brewer Credit?

Brewers who produce less than 250,000 barrels of fermented malt beverage in a calendar year qualify for the Brewer Credit. For more information, see Brewer Credit.