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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
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    Oct 2003
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    Massachusetts
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    182

    Taxes on bourbon

    While looking at the NH control state web site for bourbon prices, I noticed the following cheapy blends:

    Gold Crown Blended Whiskey liter 80.0 $5.99
    McCormick Blended Whiskey liter 80.0 $5.99
    Schenley RSV 1.75l 80.0 $9.99
    Senators Club liter 80.0 $5.99

    which makes me wonder just what the tax is on bourbon. Assuming it is just a tax on alcohol content, not quality, the prices of $5.99 per liter of 80 proof (= 40% ABV) mean that the absolute max tax is less than $5.99 per liter at 40 % ABV. So a liter of pure alcohol would be taxed at less than $15. The Schenley price lowers the bound even more: $9.99 per 1.75 liters at 80 proof is about $5.71 per liter at 40% ABV.

    So, what is the actual federal tax on boubon, either in terms of dollars per liter at 80 proof, or dollars per whatever size at whatever proof, or dollars per liter of pure alcohol? Anyone know, or know where to find out? Thanks! Ed


  2. #2
    Enthusiast
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    Mar 2000
    Location
    Midland, MI
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    Re: Taxes on bourbon

    >So, what is the actual federal tax on boubon, either in terms of dollars per
    >liter at 80 proof, or dollars per whatever size at whatever proof, or dollars
    >per liter of pure alcohol? Anyone know, or know where to find out?

    Where to find out? Google!
    (Note that the BATF has been broken up, and alcohol is now under the
    jurisdiction of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which
    they are abbreviating as "TTB".)

    The answer? Federal excise tax on distilled spirits is $13.50 per proof
    gallon. (1 Proof Gallon = one gallon at 50% alcohol, by volume).

    1 Gallon = 3.7854 L, but for back of the envelope calculations,
    750 mL = approx 1/5 of a gallon (i.e. 0.2 gallons).

    So my calculations, for your examples, are:
    80 proof, 1 L, federal taxes are $2.85
    and for 1.75 L, they are $4.99

    Those are just federal taxes. There may or may not be state
    and local alcohol taxes, too. I don't know anything about that.

    Also: don't forget that you have to pay the "distributor toll"
    (which goes into the campaign fund of your state lawmakers ).

    The trade group DISCUS proclaims that
    "Taxes make up 44% of the price on a typical bottle of spirits."
    ( http://www.discus.org/mediaroom/guide.htm )

    Tim Dellinger


  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    182

    Re: Taxes on bourbon

    Tim, thanks for the definitive answer! I use Google all the time, but it often leads into an impenetrable morass of leads, almost all useless. Legal stuff, in particular, can be almost lethally boring/confusing/nightmarish, so thanks for sorting it out. Ed

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,375

    Re: Taxes on bourbon

    My Bourbon Links Page is a good place to begin your bourbon-related inquiries, IMHO.

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    182

    Re: Taxes on bourbon

    Thanks for the links! I'll be exploring them! Ed

 

 

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