The long road to simplifying the TTB reporting and tax payment system has finally concluded. From the Brewers Association statement:
The culmination of an effort started more than a decade ago by the Brewers Association to reduce financial and paperwork burdens for thousands of small brewers was achieved when changes to excise tax due dates and bond requirements made by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) became effective on January 1, 2017.
Specifically, beginning with the calendar quarter that starts on January 1, 2017, taxpayers who reasonably expect to be liable for not more than $1,000 in taxes imposed with respect to distilled spirits, wines, and beer for the calendar year (and who were liable for not more than $1,000 in such taxes in the preceding calendar year) can pay those taxes annually, rather than quarterly.
Additionally, taxpayers are exempt from bond requirements if they reasonably expect to be liable for not more than $50,000 in taxes imposed on distilled spirits, wine, and beer for the calendar year, were liable for not more than $50,000 in such taxes in the preceding calendar year, and pay taxes on a semi-monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
Those eligible to take advantage of these provisions may find further information and guidance within TTB Industry Circular 2016-2.
The genesis of these changes dates all the way back to 2005 when the Brewers Association (BA) successfully advocated for a change in tax filing frequency, making quarterly tax returns and payments (rather than semi-monthly) optional for brewers with an annual tax liability of $50,000 or less (7,143 barrels). Further efforts in 2011 by the BA’s Tax and Trade Bureau Working Group lead to a TTB rule change dropping the required bond amount to $1,000 for that class of brewers under $50,000 annual tax liability and requiring them to file and pay taxes, as well as submit operational reports, on a quarterly basis. Finally, in 2015, BA staff worked with the Senate Finance Committee in Congress to draft legislative language reflecting the changes