The current federal excise tax rates for breweries were recalibrated lower in 2018. But they were set to increase by nearly 100% unless Congress acted by the end of 2019. Last week the House of Representatives passed an extension with 297 votes. The Senate will vote on it early next year.
For beer, the legislation reduces the federal excise tax to $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers producing fewer than 2 million barrels annually. It also reduces the federal excise tax to $16 per barrel on the first 6 million barrels for all other brewers and all beer importers;
Anothing provision is keeping the excise tax at the current $18 per barrel rate for barrelage over 6 million, the act provides additional funding for the Tax and Trade Bureau.
Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute, said “By signing legislation today to maintain current excise tax rates on beer for one year, President Trump provides brewers and beer importers the certainty they need to continue growing and reinvesting in their businesses, hiring new employees, innovating unique products, and producing America’s most popular alcohol beverage.
“More than two-thirds of Americans across the political spectrum want excise tax relief for the beer industry, which supports more than 2.1 million American jobs. As we look forward to 2020, Congress must continue working to pass the extremely popular bipartisan, bicameral Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, and make the current beer excise tax rates permanent.”
Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association, said “The lower FET rates have been a boon to small and independent brewers located in all 50 states and nearly every congressional district. These savings empowered brewers to reinvest in their businesses and resulted in an annual tax savings of more than $80m.”
The United States Association of Cider Makers said, “With the support of our paying members and those of you who reached out to Congress to share your stories, USACM was able to contribute to the broad efforts that have led us here.”
“Our lawmakers heard us loud and clear: small alcohol producers and the farmers and allied trade industry that supply them are important to the American economy.”