USA: President signs extension of excise tax relief

U.S. President Donald Trump signed today a legislation that provides for an extension of current excise tax rates on beer for one more year. In 2017, Congress included two years of excise tax relief for all brewers and beer importers as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Federal excise tax (FET) for domestic brewers producing fewer than 2 million barrels (2.35m hl) annually were reduced from USD 7.00 per barrel (1.17 hl) to USD 3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels (70,409 hl). The FET for all other brewers and all beer importers were reduced from USD 18 to USD 16 per barrel on the first 6 million barrels. All production above 6 million barrels (7.04m hl) were taxed with USD 18 per barrel as before. (, 13.6.2017).

On Monday night congressional leaders came to an agreement on the tax extender package which would have otherwise ended this month. In recent months U.S. lobbying groups like the Beer Institute and the Brewers Association mobilized all forces to extend the tax relief.

“The lower FET rates have been a boon to small and independent brewers located in all 50 states and nearly every congressional district,” Brewers Association president and CEO Bob Pease said in a media release. “These savings empowered brewers to reinvest in their businesses and resulted in an annual tax savings of more than USD 80 million.”

Jim McGreevy, President and CEO of the Beer Institute, said in a press statement today that “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.”

The extension signed into law today expires on December 31, 2020.

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