Archives: Alcohol Excise Taxes

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USDA Warns Canada-EU Trade Agreement Could Impact US Alcohol Beverage Exports

US exporters of alcohol beverages to Canada will soon face stiffer competition from their European rivals. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is expected to come into force by June 1, 2017, and Canadian duties on EU wines, beer and other alcoholic beverages will go to zero immediately. While tariffs on EU … Continue Reading

President Trump Issues Executive Order Aimed at Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

On January 30, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order No. 13771, entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.” A link to Executive Oder 13771 appears here.  The Order provides: For Fiscal Year 2017 (which ends September 30, 2017): For each new “regulation” published for notice and comment “or otherwise promulgated,” the agency in question must “identify” … Continue Reading

The TTB Proposes New Definition of Hard Cider

On January 23, 2017 the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) published a Temporary Rule and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to the new definition of hard cider. Congressional action required a new definition when Congress amended the Internal Revenue Code in December 2015 by enacting the Protecting Americans from Tax … Continue Reading

TTB Modified Tax Filing Timeframe for Some Taxpayers

On January 4, 2017 TTB published in the Federal Register a temporary rule, T.D. TTB–146, modifying the tax filing timeframe for taxpayers who fall below a certain monetary threshold and removing the bond requirements for certain eligible taxpayers who pay taxes below certain maximum amounts on distilled spirits, wine and beer. See 82 Fed. Reg. … Continue Reading

The BA’s Growing Influence on Capitol Hill

How is it that the Brewers Association—an organization that has no political action committee, has employed a staff lobbyist for only 18 months, and has only had a strong presence in Washington since 2009—has gained significant traction among policymakers in the nation’s capital? The BA is now a serious player in Washington. That is not … Continue Reading

Another Taxpayer Victory in Illinois False Claims Act Litigation, Affirming a Taxpayer’s Right to Rely On Qualified Third Parties For Tax Return Preparation

On August 30, 2016, following a one day bench trial, Cook County Circuit Judge Thomas Mulroy ruled in favor of Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) in Illinois False Claims Act (Act) litigation filed by the law firm of Stephen B. Diamond, PC (“Relator”). Relator alleged that TWE had violated the FCA by knowingly failing to collect … Continue Reading

Buying and Selling a Craft Brewery

Few craft brew entrepreneurs contemplate selling their business when they first get started.  Unlike, for example, the typical entrepreneur in the software industry, the craft brewers we know were inspired by the love of great beer, a spirit of adventure, and the romance of creating a small manufacturing business.  But the life cycle of most … Continue Reading

TTB Publishes Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda with Plans and Goals for the Coming Year

Late last year, the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) published its semi-annual regulatory agenda in the Federal Register.  The agenda provides useful insights into TTB’s regulatory plans and goals for the coming year.  As in prior years, however, observers should recognize that TTB often announces ambitious regulatory plans and deadlines that it … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Important Administrative Law Issue

On December 1, 2014, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case that will have significant implications for federal regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The case is Mortgage Bankers Ass’n v. Harris, 720 F.3d 966 (D.C. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s 2014-15 Term: Case Will Test an Important Limitation on the Ability to Challenge State Tax Laws

On December 8, 2014, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case that could have significant implications for the ability to use the federal courts to challenge state attempts to tax remote sellers of goods. In Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl, 735 F.3d 904 (10th Cir. 2013), the Tenth Circuit Court … Continue Reading

New IRS Regulations Affect Brewers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued final regulations (the Repair Regulations) that determine when taxpayers may deduct costs to acquire, produce or maintain tangible property, including all equipment and buildings.  The Repair Regulations apply to all taxpayers, including brewers of all sizes.  Taxpayers must follow these new rules in 2014, which generally will require … Continue Reading

Join Marc Sorini and Art DeCelle at the Wine, Beer & Spirits Law Conference – September 18-19, 2014

Wine, Beer & Spirits Law 19th Annual National Conference The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel Washington, D.C. September 18-19, 2014 Click here to register. View the conference brochure. McDermott Speakers Marc E. Sorini, Partner, Program Co-chair Arthur J. DeCelle, Counsel Please join McDermott partner and program co-chair, Marc Sorini, at the Wine, Beer & Spirits Law 19th … Continue Reading

Distilling 101 for Brewers

The craft distilling movement is growing rapidly. Indeed, the tor­rid pace of new distillery openings and the boundless enthusiasm of new entrants seem strangely reminiscent of craft brewing (then “microbrewing”) in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Craft dis­tillers even have a simmering product in­tegrity issue (the use of purchased neutral spirits) that splits the … Continue Reading

Legal Considerations of Warehousing Spirits

Warehouses aren’t exciting or sexy.  In fact, they are usually boring to look at and think about.  But a surprising amount of specialized alcohol beverage law surrounds the use of warehouses for the storage of distilled spirits. This article, originally published in the Spring 2014 issue of Artisan Spirit, will briefly explore some of the … Continue Reading

Choice of Forum in Federal Excise Tax Refund Cases

To challenge an administrative determination and assessment of federal excise tax, taxpayers in refund cases have a choice of two different federal courts to bring an action:  the U.S. federal district court and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.  This installment to our regular column describes these fora and provides some practice points.  The choice … Continue Reading

Towards Liquor Control: A Critical Analysis

First published in 1933, shortly before passage of the 21st Amendment repealing Prohibition, Raymond Fosdick and Albert Scott’s Toward Liquor Control is still used by many in the industry to support various positions of current alcohol policy.  In his September 19 presentation for CLE International’s Wine, Beer & Spirits Law Conference,  Marc Sorini provides an … Continue Reading

TTB Can Assert a Plethora of Penalties That Are Stated In the Internal Revenue Code

As part of its audit of taxpayers’ excise tax compliance, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) may impose several different types of financial penalties stated in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).  Indeed, TTB can impose more than one penalty with respect to the same excise tax liability, and the total combined effect … Continue Reading
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