North Carolina: Alcohol Excise Taxes
North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina Alcohol Excise Tax Rates
The primary excise taxes on alcohol in North Carolina are on wine, beer, and liquor (which includes most types of hard alcohol).
North Carolina Wine Tax - $1.00 / gallon
✔ North Carolina's general sales tax of 4.75% also applies to the purchase of wine.
In North Carolina, wine vendors are responsible for paying a state excise tax of $1.00 per gallon, plus Federal excise taxes, for all wine sold.
Additional Taxes: Over 17% – $1.11/gallon
North Carolina Beer Tax - $0.62 / gallon
✔ North Carolina's general sales tax of 4.75% also applies to the purchase of beer.
In North Carolina, beer vendors are responsible for paying a state excise tax of $0.62 per gallon, plus Federal excise taxes, for all beer sold.
North Carolina Liquor Tax - STATE-CONTROLLED
✔ North Carolina's general sales tax of 4.75% also applies to the purchase of liquor.
North Carolina is an "Alcoholic beverage control state", in which the sale of liquor and spirits are state-controlled. Liquor sales are only permitted in state alcohol stores, also called "ABC Stores". The state earns revenue by selling alcoholic beverages, so there is no need to apply an additional excise tax on liquor.
Federal Alcohol Excise Taxes
The price of all alcohol sold in North Carolina 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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