Kentucky: Alcohol Excise Taxes
Kentucky Liquor, Wine, and Beer Taxes
In addition to (or instead of) traditional sales taxes, alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, and liquor are subject to excise taxes on both the Kentucky and Federal levels. Excise taxes on alcohol are implemented by every state, as are excises on cigarettes and motor fuels like gasoline.
Excise taxes are applied on a per-unit basis, generally per gallon for liquids, and unlike sales taxes are collected from the merchant who sells the alcohol rather than the end consumer. However, in almost all cases, excise taxes are passed on directly to the consumer in the form of raised alcohol prices.
Current Kentucky Alcohol Excise Tax Rates
The primary excise taxes on alcohol in Kentucky are on wine, beer, and liquor (which includes most types of hard alcohol).
Kentucky Wine Tax - $0.50 / gallon
✔ Kentucky's general sales tax of 6% also applies to the purchase of wine.
In Kentucky, wine vendors are responsible for paying a state excise tax of $0.50 per gallon, plus Federal excise taxes, for all wine sold.
Additional Taxes: 10.75% wholesale tax
Kentucky Beer Tax - $0.08 / gallon
✔ Kentucky's general sales tax of 6% also applies to the purchase of beer.
In Kentucky, beer vendors are responsible for paying a state excise tax of $0.08 per gallon, plus Federal excise taxes, for all beer sold.
Additional Taxes: 10.75% wholesale tax. *General sales tax applies to on-premise sales only
Kentucky Liquor Tax - $1.92 / gallon
✔ Kentucky's general sales tax of 6% also applies to the purchase of liquor.
In Kentucky, liquor vendors are responsible for paying a state excise tax of $1.92 per gallon, plus Federal excise taxes, for all liquor sold.
Additional Taxes: Under 6% – $0.25/gallon $0.05/case and 10.75% wholesale tax
Federal Alcohol Excise Taxes
The price of all alcohol sold in Kentucky also includes Federal alcohol excise taxes, which are collected from the brewer / distiller by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and generally passed on to the consumer in the beverage's price. Some tax discounts are available to small brewers. Federal excise tax rates on beer, wine, and liquor are as follows:
|Beer||$18.00 per 31-gallon barrel, or $0.05 per 12-oz can|
|Wine||$1.07 - $3.40 per gallon, or $0.21 - $0.67 per 750ml bottle, depending on alcohol content|
|Distilled Spirits||$13.50 per proof-gallon†, or $2.14 per 750ml 80-proof bottle|
† A proof gallon is a gallon of liquid that is 100 proof, or 50% alcohol. The tax is adjusted, depending on the percentage of alcohol of the product.
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